Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Microsoft response to Instant Messaging

Author:Dave Winer
Posted:8/2/1999; 6:15:16 PM
Topic:Microsoft response to Instant Messaging
Msg #:9028
Prev/Next:9027 / 9029

In response to Instant Messaging, 8/1/99, from Kim Bouic,, at Waggener Edstrom, Microsoft's public relations firm.

Hi Dave. As you know, many folks at Microsoft and Waggener Edstrom read DaveNet religiously. Being new to the MS CCG business (moving over from Office), I couldn't help but respond to your most recent edition on instant messaging.

Isn't the real issue truly about creating a standard so that the servers are independent and messages can flow freely between clients vs. writing proprietary protocols to one server or another? The goal for instant messaging and the root of what MS and other companies working toward the IETF standard is aiming achieve is create a user experience that is similar to that of the open and seamless nature of the telephone and/or email (an example that you even reference in your piece as working well today). The debate extends far beyond the issue du jour between MS and AOL.

And, why such a strong focus on the server vs. the client anyway? Consumers don't care about the plumbing or the process of directing email from one contact to another -- they just want it to work. To your issue of server maintenance cost, while vendors providing the communications service may incur some degree of this, it is a mutually shared responsibilty on both the sending and receiving ends and should simply be considered a part of providing the best experience possible for customers -- it's a part of the service, just like any other product feature. And, from a consumer standpoint, it's certainly similar to how email works today in that people can freely send and receive email without expecting to incur any additional costs on either end.

Looking forward to future reports and any additional feedback you may have on this topic. Thanks for your time.

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