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AOL, IBM Federate Sametime IM

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Open federation comes to IBM Lotus Sametime instant messaging, as a new deal with AOL permits Sametime users to IM people on AIM, AOL, Apple’s iChat, and ICQ.

AOL’s longstanding walled garden approach to the Internet gave way to a more open, “audience-driven” focus for Web content in July 2005. Instant messaging has been an area that remained closed to users outside of a given messaging system.

AOL has wisely read the tea leaves left behind after Microsoft and Yahoo announced IM interoperability, and Google opened federation of its Talk service to XMPP compatible services last week.

In a statement, AOL said its messaging services would reach 75 percent of enterprise IM users with the implementation of this agreement. AOL also cited existing federation agreements with Microsoft and Jabber Inc, the latter an enterprise implementation of the XMPP service used by Google Talk.

Maybe this means true email-like and phone-like interoperability will arrive for instant messaging in 2006 for users everywhere.

Today’s announcement at Lotusphere about Sametime 7.5 underscored the new feature embedded in the client, where Sametime users can communicate with AOL’s variety of instant messaging offerings. Apple’s iChat fully supports AIM, and thus can also communicate with Sametime clients.

“Certified federation with AOL’s global instant messaging network will enable our customers to quickly exchange information and share resources with partners, vendors and customers throughout the United States and beyond,” said Ken Bisconti, vice president, Workplace, Portal and Collaboration Products, IBM.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

AOL, IBM Federate Sametime IM
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