Microsoft, Yahoo Instant Messaging to Play Nicely With Each OtherLimited testing of the IM clients' interoperability starts tonight.
Elizabeth Montalbano, IDG News Service
Microsoft and Yahoo for the first time will allow interoperability between the consumer versions of their instant-messaging (IM) clients, the companies said today.
Starting at 9:01 p.m. PDT tonight, the companies will offer limited public testing that enables users of Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo Messenger with Voice to connect to each other through either service. Users can register to sign up in a limited public beta at Yahoo or Microsoft. The process had been expected to be available in the second quarter of this year.
Once they gain access to the beta, users can exchange instant messages across the two services, as well as see their friends' online presence, view personal status messages, share emoticons, view offline messages and add new contacts between the services.
Betas Available Internationally
Microsoft already has enabled IM interoperability between Live Communications Server (LCS), its enterprise unified messaging software, and IM clients from Yahoo and American Online, as well as its own Windows Live Messenger. Business customers that have purchased LCS and Office Communicator, the client interface for LCS, can connect to all of those IM clients. Wednesday marks the first time users of the free Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo IM clients can take advantage of interoperability between them, Microsoft said.
The beta program will be available in the United States, as well as Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey and the U.K.
AOL's AIM Next?
Microsoft declined to comment directly on whether it would soon have a similar deal to make Windows Live Messenger interoperate with AOL's consumer IM client, but said that the company "anticipates more of these relationships in the future."
Windows Live Messenger is the latest incarnation of what was formerly MSN Messenger. Microsoft rebranded the product as part of its Windows Live online services plan and released the first version of Windows Live Messenger last month.