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Unifying presence on the desktop

Jean-Louis Seguineau, and Mike Gotta have a little riff going on topic of aggregating presence on the desktop.  What they’re talking about is the idea of a broker which would aggregate presence from all the clouds in which the user is a participant, presenting applications with a unified API to use this aggregated presence information.

Putting aside the politics of open source, and whether Microsoft might view such an aggregator as competitive, there are some knotty policy problems to be solved, not related to the technology.  For instance, let’s suppose that user Sandy maintains accounts on AOL (for dates), MSN (for family), and her corporate network’s presence cloud (for business).  What is the “correct” aggregated presence when the aggregator is subscribed to more than one of Sandy’s presentities, which might conflict?

Certainly Seguineau and Gotta raise a valid point.  The Yahoo-AOL-Microsoft strategy of building a walled garden around presence is stalemated.  A unified, interoperable presence cloud is the next required step.

{ 1 comment… add one }

  • Mark Scrimshire December 21, 2006, 2:30 pm

    Sorry to state the obvious – but what is the point of aggregating presence on the desktop. The desktop is a location at which we spend less and less time.

    Shouldn't we be aggregating presence in the "cloud" and providing multiple access routes to our presence manager. We then build contextual presence identification abilities in to the cloud. ie. having carriers update presence automatically when we are on a phone call.

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