Monday, August 29, 2005

Open-Closed Messenger Services - Hyprocricy at its best.

Most of my friends use Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail, Gmail or rediffmail. What it takes to send an email to receive an email. Open an account with Yahoo or Hotmail or Gmail or as a matter of fact any email provider. Irrespective of what mail service each of us use, we can send mails to each other and receive from each other. Its cool.

But what it takes to send an instant message or chat with my friends? Unfortunately the answer is not as simple as with the email. I need an account with each of these, since the messengers from these companies will not work together. I can not talk from my Yahoo messenger to a buddy who uses MSN mesenger. I can not talk to a friend who is on AOL. Now the new entry in to the instant messenger, googleTalk, do not address this issue either. If you install googletalk you can only talk to buddies who use googletalk.

I ended up installing all kinds of messengers including the new actors on the scene, skype and google talk on my laptop, so that I can always stay in touch with my buddies. So does most of my buddies. The problem does not end there. It is almost impossible to keep the account name same across all these services. So I had to create a new unique id or send an email giving my account list to my buddies. Unfortunately, I may have to do this every time I get a new messenger.

Each of these companies are committed to be Open when they talk and yet they are Closed forever in their deeds. Why don't they make their messengers interact with each other and make life simpler. If they talk about user experience and convenience, come on. Forget it. They don't care. They have a different agenda.

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