Microsoft just announced that today marks the first day that interoperability between its IM client and Yahoo! Messenger with Voice is available. Microsoft says this is the first time two distinct, global consumer brands have made their IM clients interoperable. The combined user base of nearly 350 million accounts is the world’s largest, the company says. IM interoperability took so long that I thought it was never going to happen.
The lack of interoperability across IM systems has long been a primary complaint from users. Services like Trillian for Windows or Adium for Mac have helped bridge the gaps between services, but at a loss of the unique interfaces and some features from one system or another that users may prefer.
Today’s news should make IM much more valuable for dedicated users of both systems. It’s good to see that though both companies have been working hard at developing value added interfaces for their own messaging services – they aren’t so afraid of losing customers that they pretend other IM clients don’t exist.