In a move that would have been shocking a decade ago, Microsoft has made it possible for others' instant-messaging software to tap into its Windows Live Messenger.
Instant-messaging networks--the big ones are run by Microsoft, Yahoo, and AOL--once were well-defended strongholds, and developers of third-party programs like Trillian had to work hard to reverse-engineer their inner workings. But whatever residual excitement IM possessed has faded as new communication methods such as Facebook and Twitter have seized the spotlight.
I'm inclined to blame the companies involved. Had they banded together on a standard, IM could have become a staple of … Read more