Instant Messaging initiative takes shape without AOL

AOL not part of new initiative to bring IM users together

A coalition took shape Tuesday to establish a unified Instant Messaging standard which would allow users of various IM solutions to chat together seamlessly. The world's leading IM provider, AOL, has chosen not to take part.

Microsoft's MSN, Excite@home and Yahoo! are among those who have joined IMUnified. The initiative has given itself till the end of August to develop standards for IM interoperability.

AOL, whose messaging network is larger than the combined total of all members of IMUnified, has previously resisted calls for IM standards, citing security and privacy issues. The organisation now faces criticism for its refusal to work with other players in this arena.

Full story to follow.

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