This weblog is no longer being maintained. All information here has been ported to This site ( remains only for archival purposes.

September 02, 2003

Goodbye Microsoft IM service

In - Microsoft Charges for IM Interoperability it is revealed that Microsoft is going after 3rd party IM clients. Specifically they appear to be targeting Cerulean Studios’ Trillian. I’ve used this client now for over 3 years. It seamlessly integrates all the major IM networks together in one client. Now I don’t use IM a whole lot, but I do use it to stay in touch with old buddies from my Micron days, and to participate in some rather lively discussions about Lightwave and video editing. They offer two versions of the capable client free and Pro ($25). Unfortunately MS has decided to lock out any “unlicensed or unauthorized” third party clients. Microsoft specifically names Trillian as a target. The problem is that neither the MS or AOL IM networks are open standard. They would have only their clients on the network.

Considering that the clients are free, whats the harm then in Trillian accessing the network? What does MS or AOL gain if I have their client installed on my machine over my using Trillian or Gaim (an open source multi-network IM client). The truth is IM “concentrators” as Gaim and Trillian, among others, are called are very convenient. Instead of having a separate client for AOL, MSN, and Yahoo’s IM networks running simultaneously, I have one client running. This uses less resources, and allows for a unified interface. Trillian has been the most successful concentrator in part because it also adds additional functionality such as stock tickers, weather etc. through plug-ins. Both Trillian and Gaim are hopefully that a solution can be reached with MS. The soon to be released Trillian 2.0 and the next version of Gaim will support Microsoft’s MSNP9 IM protocol.

Posted by Eric at September 2, 2003 06:55 PM | TrackBack
Comments & Trackbacks