"America Online, which first conquered IM with its AOL Instant
Messenger service (AIM), is being stormed by competitors on all
sides, and some of these firms appear to be causing real
"Indeed, late last month, Microsoft announced that its MSN
Messenger had actually surpassed AOL's chatter in number of active
users. In a press release, Microsoft beamed that it now offers 'the
single most used instant messaging service in the world.'"
"Like most conflicts, though, the IM Wars also have their
conscientious objectors: They're a bunch of open source programmers
working on an open messaging system called Jabber, and they say
that the big firms' chest-beating is missing the real point.
Messaging should be a part of network infrastructure, they say, as
open as e-mail -- and it shouldn't matter how many users each
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