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Another company switching to XMPP

Back in 1996 ICQ saw it first light and instant messaging was born and it took Microsoft until 1999 before MSN Messenger was launched. Two proprietary protocols for instant messaging with closed specifications. Also a third protocol was started in 1998 under the name Jabber which was renamed as XMPP a few years later. Long time it was labeled as “only for geeks” or “something for Linux-users”.

This all changed in 2005 as Google launched Google Talk which was based on XMPP and also allowed server-to-server communication 2006 so Google Talk users could communicate with users outside the Google netwerk. Other services like audio and video where added in the years after. This forced others to rethink there ideas about there instant messaging network where Facebook Chat followed the same strategy as Google Talk. Shortly after AOL started experimenting with ICQ over XMPP in 2008.

The last big bastion was Live Messenger from Microsoft, but recently it was announced that also Microsoft started to offer an XMPP API to there instant messaging network. Meaning people with an XMPP client could use the Microsoft instant messaging network without any additional software. Telepathy developers from directly jumped in and trying to get it in with GNOME 3.4 together with better Facebook support like it is now for Google in GNOME Online Accounts. With this the only question remains if Microsoft for example will also allow server-to-server communication like Google.

Now that we slowly moving towards an unified communications standard where companies as Cisco are pushing for, we also see a simplification and reduction of standards in use. Hopefully Debian can drop in the release after Wheezy all packages that depend on the old Messenger protocol. Also hopefully Microsoft will also jump into the bandwagon for standardized calendar en contacts support, but time will tell. For now it is a plus 1 for open and free standards.

2 replies on “Another company switching to XMPP”

Unfortunately, the Live team at Microsoft did not announce support for XMPP Federation. Which would have meant that it’s service would be interoperable with other XMPP service providers. They will, hopefully, allow for this kind of openness in the future.

@Daniel True, but as for now the access for instant messaging is being standardized and this allows people to switch providers without any additional software changes on the client side. The problem Microsoft is having, they allowed third party e-mailaddresses on there platform as logon ID this needs to be sorted out before they could be part the XMPP Federation. But again, Google needed about 6 months to become part of the XMPP Federation. And AOL and Facebook are also still closed networks. Like you said, we can only hope, but for now XMPP for accessing instant messaging is becoming the norm.

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