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sendmail.net: AOL's Standards Gambit

Jun 18, 2000, 21:25 (0 Talkback[s])

"One week after the FCC began an investigation into AOL Instant Messenger, America Online's instant messaging service - and after a series of controversial attempts by AOL to block other IM services from communicating with its 50 million members - AOL has proposed a standards protocol for instant messaging to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). AOL's new draft standard describes its proposed IMX Architecture, which it says would allow "disparate systems to exchange messages and presence information."

"Is AOL really looking to open up instant messaging? Or is this just a sign that The Happiest ISP on Earth is stressing more about the fate of its proposed merger with content behemoth Time Warner than about maintaining its grip on the IM marketplace?"

"In the wake of Microsoft's recent bad day, the prospect of marrying AOL's seemingly infinite reach with Time Warner's bottomless pit of content has given many monopoly-conscious observers pause. AOL would undoubtedly prefer that the FCC's investigators not be among them."

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