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MSN / Yahoo

I just tuned into the conference call on the MSN / Yahoo Interop Agreement that was announced this morning.  The salient details?  In six to nine months users of both networks will have text, voice, emoticon and presence interoperability, creating a community of 250 million users globally.

Jeff Pulver asks does it mean anything?  Only to the extent that it presages large interoperable networks built on SIP/SIMPLE, in his opinion.

Om Malik is clearly unimpressed.  His delightful strikeouts say it all:

They way I see it – for Microsoft this is a vital move especially from an enterprise perspective. The more interoperable they become, the more valuable their Live Communication Server becomes. Thanks to Dare for clarifying that. A full press release and the conference call later, it is all about the consumer.

Yahoo IM is already interoperable with LCS, Om.

My take?

These are the basic services for any kind of Voice 2.0 application — presence, text, voice.  Microsoft, anyway, has a commitment to SIP, as I have written previously.  Today, Yahoo has little in the way of API support for IM, and Microsoft only marginally more. To the extent that both companies continue to create developer opportunities around these platforms, this interoperability announcement could be a huge benefit to the industry.  Microsoft’s recent reorg leaves me hopeful that is their direction. A clear sign of this intent would be to publish APIs for presence, test messaging and call control.

The race is on.  Skype is already miles ahead, with as large a community of users, a commitment to support third party applications, and a larger community of developers.

{ 1 comment… add one }

  • Jeremy Maddock October 12, 2005, 2:19 pm

    It's quite groundbreaking from a business perspective, considering how much Yahoo and Microsoft compete in other areas.

    It'll be interesting to see what kind of success they have in eroding AOL's market share (and competing with Google Talk)…

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