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Microsoft to rule instant messaging?

I just read Joels Strategy letter 1 from May 12, 2000 :

http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000056.html

And I quote :

"With all of Microsoft's muscle, money, and marketing skill, they are just not going to be able to break into auctions or instant messaging, because the network effects there are so strong."

Am I the only one thinking that it seems Microsoft is pretty close to repeating the succesful formula they used for Internet Explorer, only this time its instant messaging?

AlexMeyer
Monday, October 20, 2003

So what... the competition in IM is so intense, that companies are giving IM for free.

There is simply very little opportunity to make a profit in the IM arena.

So, it's not like they are taking away a profitable market!

Jaxxon
Monday, October 20, 2003

Well, I just found it interesting that Microsoft have found a way to break the lock-in in instant messaging, showing that they are very adept at competing in markets where they at first compete against far bigger competitors(in that marketplace).

What they have done, I suppose, is to use their even bigger leverage in Hotmail(shares authentication mechanism with Messenger) and Windows(including Messenger in the package) to slowly but surely increase marketshare.

And, if not for the money in instant messaging, I guess Microsoft is in it for the leverage!

AlexMeyer
Monday, October 20, 2003

I recently came across skype ( www.skype.com ). As an IM-client its pretty primitive, but its realtime voice com is the best Ive seen so far without dedicated hardware.
Its like speaking on the phone.
Im betting its going to kick  MSN and Yahoos arses up and down the block sooner or later.
Unless MS buys them ofcourse.

Eric DeBois
Monday, October 20, 2003

The profit isn't in the IM client - it's in leveraging the IM network. If MS can get professionals using MSN Messenger (MSNM), then they can put alerts and reporting into their packaging. Also realize that the formula here may be the same as anywhere else - MS may win because everyone else stops trying.

For example, ICQ, which was the first IM network, continues in its niche position because of their complete inability to understand the market. Their interfaces have always sucked, and they've generally only added features ages after every other client has. Yahoo's client was the best for about a year, but since they completely neglected their other services (most notably ongoing abuse of the groups), there's diminishing incentive to use it.

AOL IM only wins because of the automatic use by any AOL user, and if the AOL network continues to wither then so will AOL IM.

Winner: MSNM by default.

Side note - one "killer app" MS could use to push MSNM would be to build IM reporting and alerts into their applications. If Yukon had a page on "alert notifications" where you could just put an MSNM address and it would "just plain work" then every MS DBA in the country would get MSNM accounts overnight.

Philo

Philo
Monday, October 20, 2003

I think MSN is getting there because it has the simplest interface. I tend to agree that ICQ have blown it by getting too complicated.

Stephen Jones
Monday, October 20, 2003

I have never used MS Messenger. Is there some report proclaiming them the winner that I missed?

m
Monday, October 20, 2003

All stock traders I meet at work uses the AOL messenger here in New York to communicate between them. I am a developer and we use Microsoft messenger. I however work at a European company, so AOL was never an option, most Europeans use either Microsoft or Yahoo messenger.

Mellowman
Monday, October 20, 2003

Frankly, I think MS will win because they have the best interface.

Jaxxon
Monday, October 20, 2003

Or alternatively MS will win because MSNM comes with Windows... (Or at least windows messenger, which will now, i presume after protocol changes, simply ask you to upgrade to MSNM6). That sounds like a bit of a lesson from history eh?

And quite frankly, having used every single one quite a bit, MSNM is the winner hands down when it comes to ease of use, UI design, etc. Shame that Jabber is still a bit of a mess shouting about what it could be...

Andrew Cherry
Monday, October 20, 2003

"Frankly, I think MS will win because they have the best interface."

No, they HAD the best interface.  Now it's bloated and annoying.

Just like Windows media player 6.4 had the best interface and it's been all downhill since.

I use the open source Miranda-IM for my ICQ and MSN.  It's a true minimalist UI but containing a huge amount of functionality.

Almost Anonymous
Monday, October 20, 2003

Charmin (Procter&Gamble) is the strongest tissue paper brand in the US, if not a monopoly.

Just as ludicrous are complaints about a potential Microsoft IM monopoly/rule. (1) IM is not the driving force of the internet. (2) IM is not the driving force of communication. (3) IM is not a way to earn money.

So who cares?

Johnny Bravo
Monday, October 20, 2003

"showing that they are very adept at competing in markets..."

In the same sense that the 100lb. school yard bully is adept at getting his 50lb. classmates to share their lunch money.

The market is "PC software", and Microsoft is ALWAYS the biggest player.

Besides, iChat roolz.

Jim Rankin
Monday, October 20, 2003

AOL Messenger isn't Unicode aware (and neither are most of the all-in-one programs).  But MSN Messenger is.  Allows my mom to type in Hindi to her non-English speaking sister in India. 

Good stuff.

Ankur
Monday, October 20, 2003

"If MS can get professionals using MSN Messenger (MSNM), then they can put alerts and reporting into their packaging."

Great now I can get a passport account to get alerts from my server.  No thanks.

"Oh, but will support messenger with a limited set of features." sayeth MS.

Milton
Monday, October 20, 2003

"In the same sense that the 100lb. school yard bully is adept at getting his 50lb. classmates to share their lunch money."

Now featuring Bully 2.0.  Meaner than ever!

Awesome jab.

Milton
Monday, October 20, 2003

I wish apple would get into this market. 

christopher baus (tahoe, nv)
Monday, October 20, 2003

ICQ search is the best though. For example I just use these parameters all the time: female, age 20-29 (or 30-39), and then the city or country. It's not that easy with other chat program to find the girls that I'm interested to chat with.

dURAN dURAN
Monday, October 20, 2003

Yes, it's amazing that all the really hot 6ft tall blonde models are on ICQ isn't it.

Damian
Tuesday, October 21, 2003

No Damian, of course not that kind of babe. But at least some lonely widows are on ICQ to cure their loneliness..and if you're smart you can be their friends.

dURAN dURAN
Tuesday, October 21, 2003

No, thats shit.

Fisty
Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Just to remind of Jabber existence :)

Nekto
Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Hmmm MSN Messenger is one thing (and is bloated) but MS also have "Windows Messenger" which cuts out most or all of the fluff and is designed to work with a local IM server and/or the MSN ones... *doesn't* require a passport account if you have a local MS IM server, and which can be easily distributed & controlled on a Windows 2000 or 2003 domain based network via policies.

Sounds like a winner to me. In fact, I'm using it right now.

Robert Moir
Tuesday, October 21, 2003

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