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

What this IM war is all about

Author:Jacob Levy
Posted:8/6/1999; 9:15:18 AM
Topic:What this IM war is all about
Msg #:9209
Prev/Next:9208 / 9210

Here are some easy questions (with answers) and let's see where this really leads:

Who is ahead in the browser market? Microsoft.

Who has the best opportunity to integrate browsers and IM? Microsoft.

Who has the best chance to integrate IM-enabled browsers and IM-enabled web servers? Microsoft.

Who is the platform king-of-the-hill on the client side? Microsoft.

Who is the wannabe-king on the server side? Microsoft.

My conjecture: Microsoft is aiming to use IM as another wedge to crack the corporate server market. Imagine a corporate buyer that's planning to put up a web server for their e-commerce, customer support and product info site. One sofware company offers them a web server that is integrated with the market leading IM-capable web browser, enabling the vendor to respond to interest in their product *in real time* rather than later, by analyzing web logs. Another software company offers a web server that does not work at all or well with the dominant IM-enabled browser but it does have very fancy logs and analysis tools.

Which server solution would you choose?

Who is the first software company (offering the integrated solution)? Microsoft.

Who is the second software company (offering the IM-integration-defficient solution)? AOL/Netscape.

Of course, the first software company (Microsoft) also wants to force you to use NT server. Oh well...

Also of course, it doesn't have to play out this way. AOL/Netscape can use its head-start on the stand-alone IM client side to make a convincing end-run on the server market. However, IMHO the offerings from Netscape in the server market have not yet been compelling.

Am I full of it or is this a reasonable scenario?

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