America Online's ICQ subsidiary on Tuesday formally released the latest
version of its instant-messaging service and software.
As reported earlier, ICQ 4.0 is designed
to let consumers personalize service and allow developers to access the
software's application programming interfaces (APIs). New features include a
multifunction message window, birthday alerts, new games and the capability to
forward messages to cell phones. The latest version can be downloaded from the
The update features ICQ Xtraz software, which is targeted at developers. The
software, which comes with an open API, lets programmers build features
separately from the core ICQ client. That will allow developers to deliver new
services without forcing them to download a new client.
Instant-messaging services from Internet service providers like Yahoo and MSN
have emerged as a popular means of communication among Net users globally. ICQ
said it has 180 million registered users.
"With our new Xtraz technology, we can instantly extend our personal
communications platform to any number of new partners who can provide content
and services our users need," Orey Gilliam, general manager of ICQ, said in a