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Harish recommends MSN Messenger 7.0. No, no, no, no, no. And if you recommend AOL IM? No, no, no, no, no.

Can these two IM clients throw everything at you except the kitchen sink, or what? Good grief! Some products will get so bloated, and be completely blind to the features that are really important.

If I use MSN Messenger as my only IM client, that means I can only talk to other people who use MSN Messenger. If I want to chat with my friends who use AOL IM, I have to install that and run it as well. My Yahoo IM friends? Third client. Can you imagine if IE would only let you browse to websites that were served up by IIS, or if Firefox would only let you browse to sites that were running on Apache? That would be ridiculous! This IM lock-down is ridiculous as well.

What is the solution to it? Throw away MSN Messenger and others who dont want to play nicely. MS and AOL may not want to play nice together, but that's their problem, and they will likely pay for it. I'd be willing to wager that they already are. I know there's a huge fan base for Trillian, which supports MSN, AOL, Yahoo, and Jabber (and even more). There's the cross-platform sourceforge project GAIM, and several other good IM clients available that can let you talk to ALL your friends. Posted on Tuesday, July 5, 2005 2:17 PM Software | Back to top

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