Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Universal Instant Messenging

The shoe has finally dropped. Microsoft and Yahoo are finally going to merge their IM networks. Historically, this may be the biggest development on the Internet since the release of Mosaic. It may take a while for this to sink in. Imagine if Sprint cellphones could not talk to Cingular cellphones. You ask someone for their phone number, but "Oh, sorry, it's no good. We're not compatible" Take another example. Suppose web sites were browser specific and every other website you tried to view, you would either need to start up a separate browser or you would be blocked. Totally absurd. It's hard to imagine but that's been the state of affairs with IM.

What does this really mean? It's a doubled-edged sword. It means that now, IM can be integrated into web applications and email. It means the web will become more real-time. Ideas will be transmitted a lot faster. However, due to overstimulation, attention spans may become even more reduced than they are now.

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