"It is important to note that the debate is not about
whether the various instant messaging systems will ever
interoperate. Instead, the questions seem to be when and how. Even
AOL does not dispute the need for an interconnection standard. But
like most market leaders, the company would prefer to control the
"So the debate comes down to which side you believe. AOL
contends that the development and testing of an instant messaging
standard will take over a year. Its critics accuse the company of
stalling in order to better solidify its market position."
"In the meantime, the company [AOL] said, it has already
"opened" its network through royalty-free licensing agreements that
allow Internet service providers and Web companies to use AOL
Instant Messenger technology to create their own messaging
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