Yahoo Messenger for the Web launches

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Tom Keating
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Yahoo Messenger for the Web launches

Yahoo Messenger for the WebYahoo just launched Yahoo Messenger for the Web, an IM client that has no downloading - zilch - nada. Launch any browser (PC, mobile phone, etc.), and sign in using your Yahoo account and voila - instant access to over 350 million users (when combining Yahoo Messenger users + Windows Live Messenger users due to their federation deal). Apparently, they worked extra hard to make sure it works on all the most popular browsers, including IE, Firefox, Netscape, Safari, and Opera.

Jeff Bonforte, Yahoo's VP of Product Management, writes on his blog:
That’s right, today we launched the all-new Web-based Yahoo! Instant Messenger. In fact, it’s the first brand-new Messenger in over six years.

Yahoo! Messenger for the Web is live, and folks, it’s about to blow up. Feedback from initial users is so crazily positive, I expect this will become the primary IM service for millions. See for yourself at, or simply

The other advantage of a web-based "no download" IM application is that it bypasses IT security restrictions. Unless of course you're an IT administrator looking to prevent co-workers from slacking - i.e. instant messaging all day long. Still no word on when Yahoo Messenger and Microsoft Live Messenger will interoperate for voice over IP calls. The first  time I asked Microsoft about it (2005) they hinted VoIP interoperability with Yahoo Messenger was coming. Then in September 2006 Yahoo and Microsoft announced that their interoperability was "out of beta". If and only if they interoperate for BOTH IM and VoIP, then we'll say it's out of beta. Mmm k?

It's been 2 years, that's like 20 years in Internet years, so what friggin gives?

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