"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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