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Jabber: The Linux of Instant Messaging?
Tough Competition in an Entrenched AOL
June 26, 2000
What's been dubbed the "Instant Messaging War" has centered on skirmishes between outside firms gaining unauthorized access to America Online's instant messaging systems.
Many regard America Online's claim of security interests as a ruse to protect its commercial profits from the service. As an alternative, there are groups that do more than give lip service to developing an open instant messaging standard.
Open Source means that hundreds of developers worldwide work on Jabber's project development. The open system permits nearly anyone to operate their own instant messaging systems which can talk to all other Jabber systems.
Jabber works much like e-mail and it uses XML technology at its core.
IETF Leads the Way
Because Jabber is an Open Source project, it has no political interest in seeing one solution win over another. It operates backward through systems so it is capable of bridging both new and old protocols.
The commercial arm of the project could reap the reward of software distribution of the program, if it is used as the core of the IETF's recommendations due out in July.
While the world awaits an IETF-approved standard, Jabber provides companies with in open platform for instant messaging today.
Miller and Company
Miller said support from developers and employees alike landed on the Jabber solution to instant messaging interoperability.
"We believe our developers provide Jabber.com access to the best expertise available for commercialization of instant messaging services that ensures an Open Source standard," Miller said.
He added that should the Jabber platform be adopted by the IETF, instant messaging would truly achieve its potential to become one of the most important and successful open source projects in the industry.
It's Here; It's Real
Instant messaging is more than a way to ping pals to see if they're online. It's recognized as one of the strategic gateways to consumer adoption of voice over IP, as well as wireless communication services.
Fighting the Big Blue Triangle
Unlike most activities that take place on the Internet, instant messaging currently has no standard. Much like the e-mail industry in the 1980s, consistent standards are a precondition to widespread adoption.
Interoperability is important not only as a convenience for consumers, but also as a foundation for unified messaging to fit into the scheme of things in business-to-consumer and business-to-business communication.
The technology offers the industry an opportunity to redefine instant messaging services to transform IM into a far more strategic and fundamental component of the Internet infrastructure.
Jabber is capable of the pulling the politicking out of instant messaging issues today.
But will it be able to survive competition with AOL's profitable propriety system, tomorrow?