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Issue of August 2006 

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IM tie-up may benefit SMBs

Microsoft and Yahoo have finally decided to conduct a beta interoperability test for their Instant Messaging (IM) services—Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo Messenger with Voice. It means that users will now be able to sign in to either of the IM services with just one account. They will also be able to use features such as text, voice, and video of both the services.

The SMB market may want to cash in on this opportunity as it promises to cut down costs on the IM front. SMBs so far may have been using the most inexpensive IM services available in the market to keep costs in check, but with this joint offering they could be in for a free service.

With features like messaging to mobile devices and offline messages, SMBs may even take the IM services out of the office and onto their smart phones, thus getting more than they could ask for.

Microsoft says on its Web site that keeping consumer security and privacy is on the top of their priority list. If these claims were to come true, SMBs might find it a secure channel for communication.

Meanwhile, Google and AOL are said to be in talks to let Google Talk and AOL interoperate.

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Indian Express - Business Publications Division

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