Washington Post Reviews Sad State of IM Interoperability

Perhaps a reminder of the wretched state of instant-messaging interoperability wasn’t necessary, but Rob Pegoraro of the Washington Post does a good job providing an update in light of the move by Microsoft and Yahoo to allow their respective subscribers to talk to each other from their otherwise closed and propriety IM networks.

IM is the backward, toothless cousin of Internet services, held back by atavistic parental genes and bad governance. In that regard, Pegoraro notes the following:

With most other kinds of communication — phone calls, e-mail or cellphone text messages — the ability to contact somebody who uses a different provider than you isn’t considered a feature worth advertising.

But not instant messaging, which remains behind left behind, a victim — along with all its users — of companies that seek to lock their customers into proprietary straitjackets rather than competing on the basis of creativity and innovation. Even interoperability, or what passes for it between Yahoo and Microsoft, isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, as Pegoraro explains.

It’s a good column — it first appeared online yesterday — and it’s well worth reading if you haven’t had an opportunity to get to it.


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