Yahoo Messenger is now cross-compatible with MSN Messenger, allowing users across the networks to talk to each other for the first time. Officially.
Clients like Trillian
have been connecting to multiple networks for a long time, and so the news will be of little consequence to hardcore users. To the average Joe or Joanne, however, this is fairly big news.
Yahoo and MSN now will account for 44% of IM traffic, with 56% being taken up by the AIM / ICQ collaboration. Users will be able to use both text and voice across the networks.
All the networks fear the encroachment of Skype on their territory, and are worried that peer to peer voice chat will replace peer to peer IM.
This from BetaNews:
"Still, a source at Yahoo expressed concern about the new partnership to BetaNews, hypothesizing that interoperability will only serve to strengthen Microsoft's position in the market.
Recently, IM software clients have evolved to link consumers to other services beyond just chat - from blogs to search. And if users are able to message contacts on Yahoo through the MSN client bundled with Windows, it could hamper Yahoo's efforts to reach more eyeballs.
Microsoft is also reported to be in talks with Time Warner, and a deal to open the door between MSN Messenger and AIM has been rumored. However, nothing concrete has come from the discussions thus far."
Surely everyone reading this uses MSN Messenger in some guise - but what client do you all use? Drop by the forums and give us your thoughts
on this new deal, and on the best way to IM.