Microsoft New Online Messenger ~ Dope Slaps AOL’s Instant Messenger

  • Written By: P. Hayes
  • Published: July 21 2000

Microsoft New Online Messenger ~ Dope Slaps AOL's Instant Messenger
P. Hayes - July 21, 2000

Event Summary

REDMOND, Wash. (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp. on Thursday, July 20 debuted a new version of its online messenger software beefed up with free long-distance Internet phone service that turns up the heat on messaging arch-rival America Online Inc.

Market Impact

In the inevitable leapfrog race of instant messaging, Microsoft has thrown down a straight flush with the debut of MSN Instant Messenger 3.0, incorporating free Net2Phone. We are certain that interoperability with any version of AOL's Instant Messenger client is about as likely as the immediate emergence of flying cars. So why would users switch from AOL's Instant Messaging client to Microsoft's? Quite simple really, throw in free long distance phone service, offer a comparable and competitive set of base features, and then to make sure you succeed, give it away for free. And just to add injury to insult Microsoft wirelessly enabled the release to embrace the interaction of WAP enabled devices with its user base.

The only real question here is, how far behind is AOL? Given the combined resources of AOL and Time Warner we would imagine not long. In fact the probability of a beta release containing a competitive version with free voice communication by the end of the 3rd quarter is approximately 85%. Given that AOL has an Instant Messenger user population of greater than 20 Million, no one expects a max exodus, and neither does Microsoft. Both clients can be run on an Internet connected multi-media PC simultaneously, negating the need to choose one client over the other.

Microsoft is expecting, and rightfully so, to attract millions of users to their Online Messenger client. Both companies generate tremendous revenue from Internet advertising displayed within the client, in addition to commercial product sales.

User Recommendations

Stated very simply, go get it, download it, and use it to save yourself money. Whether you are a small business or a home based computer user or flat out computing enthusiast, get it! The technology found in Microsoft's Online Messenger 3.0 is good, functional and proven (not to mention 'way cool').

As previously mentioned, the application does not force you to give up your AOL Instant Messenger, allowing both clients to be run simultaneously. AOL will offer the comparable technological advancements in Instant Messenger, its not there now, so why wait?

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