Recently in Instant Messenger Category

Google, Show me the Federated IM

February 7, 2006 3:35 PM | 0 Comments

Google needs to open up the GTalk beta, it’s been months and still no one can use this unless you go through the hassle of getting a Gmail account, which is also still in beta?? I think this client has a great deal of promise but I never use it because nobody I know has it.

 Speaking of timing, check out IM Federation. It looks to me like Mr. Michael Robertson is making nice with Google and visa versa. Looking closer we can see that the domain is registered to Michael. Gtalk appears to be on the federated IM client track as well as it is listed Pending. I wonder if this means they will create a federated architecture much like Gizmo or if Google will use a third party service to help them federate with other services.

At any rate, federated IM seems to be gaining momentum, which is good for all users.

IM Email

January 30, 2006 4:51 PM | 10 Comments

My dad refuses to use IM, says it's a hassle. "Just email me" he says "I am not tethered to my PC like you ya know!".

Some of us use Instant Messaging and Email everyday, nearly always in contact and never far from a PC. There are many who shy away from IM because it's too instant. They are busy during the day and do not have much time for impromptu conversations on a PC and you can forget about them using IM on a wireless device. The have learned email and that frankly that is working just fine for them.

I am getting this not just from my aging retired parents but also professionals I know in the industry. They are busy! No time for IM conversations and they want to be able to track the conversations they have without a great deal of trouble.

Dad said he would probably use it more if they could pick up the IM messages he missed in the same Inbox as his email and when it's convenient for him, via online web mail or in Outlook on his laptop.

I wanted to suggest a work-around but when I started thinking about this I could not for the life of me come up with an easy solution that would work for him. I don't know of any hosted services out there nor are there any plug-ins for the likes of MS Outlook that allow for shared IM and Mail message retrieval. My Dad uses Outlook and I read somewhere that there are 400 Million Outlook users out there today. There are hundreds of millions of users on various IM clients. Why can't we retrieve offline or online IM messages (regardless of his IM client) in Outlook?

Yes, MSN Messenger has "pager mode" but it doesn't work when the user is offline. There are often times when I forget (sometimes for days) to log into the current 5 IM clients I run and I end up missing conversations and sometimes opportunities. Those messages should come through to my email and also be stored on a central server if I so choose, although web mail would be fine for this. Attachments could be sent via IM and end up in your email inbox, there are some security concerns here.

In the mobile world this makes even more sense, who has time to deal with IM on a mobile device? BlackBerries are popular with the business crowd because they can get their email just about anywhere and when it's convenient for them. If you want to communicate with those people it had better be email, and many of them have IM.

Andy steps up for SightSpeed

January 23, 2006 1:06 PM | 0 Comments

Buddy Andy has accepted a position on SightSpeed's Advisory Board. SightSpeed is a Voice and Video over IP (VVoIP) player that has been around for quite some time and their technology seems to work pretty good albeit it does not seem to be based open standards.

The largest proprietary operator in this space is Skype, I wonder how SightSpeed's patented technology stacks up. It might also be difficult to compete with the likes of Counterpath and now Eyeball as they get ready to roll out their new open standards federated VoIP, Video and IM client.

I am sure Andy will steer them in the right direction.

Hello 2006 and Hello M&A

January 4, 2006 9:33 AM | 0 Comments

Symantec has announced that it will acquire IMlogic to add more to its security and management of instant messaging. Apparently terms were held back due to SEC regs. These two companies were already major partners and the fit here seems to make a great deal of sense.

This acquisition follows a $370 million purchase of e-mail security vendor Brightmail in 2004 and the $11 billion buy-out of Veritas in July, 2005.


Google Talk gets a Blog

December 1, 2005 3:46 PM | 0 Comments

Looks like Mike Jazayeri, Product Manager over at Google (formerly of Microsoft I think) is using aquired Blogger to deliver the news about Google's new IM client Google Talk.

In the first paragraph in this first post Mike makes mention of open standards and interoperability, and take that Skype!

One of the users in their forums posted a Request For Features, the initial contribution went something like this...

Post your feature requests in this topic.
This requests i've seen so far are:

  • Post to Blogger from Google Talk

I like this, but as mentioned in earlier posts we need to go a little further. I want to be able to blog to ANY of the top blogs (MT, Wordpress, MSN, Yahoo, Blogger, etc.) right from the Text Chat window and include Audio and Video in that post.

  • Change color of text (emoticons can do it)
  • Change sounds
  • File sharing
  • Reverse integration of Gmail with GTalk
  • Voice Conferencing
  • Offline messages
  • Change nickname
  • Other operating systems (mac,linux)
  • Archived chats in Gmail
  • Avatars
  • Emoticons
  • Conference Calls
  • Support for other networks (msn,aol,icq,..)
  • Web based version
  • Grouping users
  • Search ppl by gender, age, location, occupation,...
  • Record voicemail when user is away
  • S2S: open the doors and allow open server to server connections without each server having to "federate" with Google
  • something like yahoo draw

Here is a sneak peak of the Eyeball Messenger v1.0 currently in beta, built using the yet to be released Eyeball Messenger SDK. Now with federated IM accounts including MSN, AOL, Yahoo! and Google plus support for open standards = SIP (VoIP, Video) and XMPP (IM and Presence).

I can't tell you how pumped I am already, I am now using this instead of 5 other applications = 4 messengers plus our SIP softphone, now I get them all in one app.

Main Messenger Interface

The SIP softphone / dial pad is really cool, accessed by clicking on the purple phone button, it works pretty slick. I can use it to call via my Buddy List (as long as they are using SIP) or I can call a SIP URI / real phone number via my SIP / VoIP network. Video calls also use SIP and it's very easy to use, highlight your buddy and in one click you're in business.

SIP Softphone

I have had a huge amount of input on this design so it's not suprising that I think it's a HOT app, I might be little biasedwink If you are interested in getting in on the beta send an email to the beta program manager = rsc AT, he tells me that he is still looking for a few good beta testers who have access to various SIP and XMPP networks.

More on Eyeball...

I have been talking quite a bit lately about SIP, VoIP, XMPP / Jabber and IM interop. I think most of us would agree that if we could get the best of all worlds in one easy to use IM application we would potentially be a little happier every day coming into work.

From my perspective, an avid user of the larger IM services (AOL,MSN,Yahoo!,Google) and a Broadband Telephony services user, I would love an IM client that I could use to get a good quality softphone and a federated messenger app that I can also use with my own IM / XMPP network.

This last part is important for many organizations judging from the conversations I have had with several large organizations. According to them it's crucial to have control over their own IM network. They need to be able to connect to their own XMPP / Jabber and SIP servers for many reasons including Usage Auditing, Black Listing, SPAM control etc.

As part of my new Blog Series on The Future of IM I recently had an interview with Sean Egan of GAIM. He had some very interesting things to say about Voice Interop with Google Talk. Here's a small piece of the conversation...

Me: Hey Sean, what's new in the land of GAIM
Sean: So we've got Gaim 2.0.0 coming up soon.
Sean: It fixes every problem anyone's ever had with Gaim, ever!
Me: whoa, those are some big words
Me: what else does it do?
Me: new GUI by chance?
Sean: Well, not entirely changed, of course. But some hugely major improvements.
Me: ok, an example of hugely major would be?
Sean: So, maybe the two biggest complaints about the Gaim UI are the stupid "I'm Away" window and the Disconnected/Connecting windows. Those are all gone.
Me: ah yes, much better
Sean: We slashed a ton of preferences.
Me: k, more user friendly... good good
Sean: So that dialog is no longer an navigable mess and Gaim just does the Right Thing all the time.
Me: sounds good, and what about Voice calling interop?
Me: Heard you were working on that
Sean: It'll do Google Talk.
Me: nice
Me: so have you incorporated GIPS into GAIM ?
Me: or is the Voice processing in GAIM the same as it was before
Sean: There was no voice processing in Gaim before.
Me: ahh, ok
Me: right
Sean: But, we obviously can't use GIPS.
Sean: I'm using a free alternative

Sean also touched on SIMPLE vs. XMPP and told me that he thought one standard was enough and really did not see the reason for two. I know that some of the SIMPLE advocates out there might disagree but for the near term I think Sean may be on to something.

I will be taking some video of the P2P-SIP ADHOC BOF on Friday and I am hoping to corner some of the SIP gurus to talk about SIMPLE and XMPP strategies and how they may differ. Stay tuned for that one!

Holy VoIP! We have had an incredible response here to my posting announcing the Eyeball IM Beta. It looks like we are in for a great program.

Very soon we will be uploading our very first Beta version of the Eyeball Instant Messenger with VoIP, Video and Presence using SIP and XMPP to the Beta forum. If you have not already signed up for the beta you can do so by including the following info in an email to rsc AT

[Primary email
[IM id’s

[Background – 250 words maximum]

I myself am looking forward to this software. I use 4 different IM services and although I like GAIM it's still not enough. I use SIP-based VoIP networks and XMPP-based IM networks as well so GAIM is not quite there yet. The fact that I will have less apps running on my desktop makes me very happy.

The voice and video quality on this prelim beta is quite good. I am very sure that this initial app will change dramatically, not only in appearance, from the near term to our expected launch later this year.

If you have already sent in your info you will be receiving an email shortly providing you with further instructions.

XMPP for Instant Messaging

October 31, 2005 12:27 PM | 1 Comment

Is XMPP going to be the near term winner of the IM protocol battle? Comments from Robert Sparks - organizer of SIPit...

"The general opinion still seems to be that XMPP is good for right now for medium sized solutions. When people start looking at large portals and interdomain, they start looking at SIMPLE. You have seen folks like Nokia making more noise about OMA, PoC, and related things? Those tout SIMPLE pretty strongly."

I think Robert is correct and that XMPP has proven to be a worthy protocol for small and medium business but I also agree with Google's strategy on embracing SIP as well. I would imagine they are planning to use SIP for VOIP signalling in the early stages with SIMPLE and XCAP on the roadmap as the use of SIP for IM matures. It is quite likely that MSRP will also play a role in the deployment of SIMPLE.

All in all it's looking like it might be a wise idea to support both XMPP and SIMPLE, at least on the softphone / soft client side of things.


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This page is a archive of recent entries in the Instant Messenger category.

IETF is the previous category.

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