Microsoft, Yahoo Become Chat Buddies
So where does this leave AOL's Instant Messenger, currently the most popular IM platform in the US? AOL is teaming up with Google to make AIM compatible with Google Talk, though details remain unclear.
Aside from recognizing an economy of scale, these partnerships help alleviate one of the biggest problems with instant messaging: vendors' proprietary technology that does not allow for interoperability, and forced users to maintain several applications to manage various buddy lists. Also, the incorporation of voice could be potentially disruptive to long distance phone service, particularly for international calling.