Eventually, cooperation and well-meaning openness can cost a company. After a long time of allowing third party IM systems to integrate with its IM software, Yahoo is closing the door on third-party IM systems within its network, while at the same time, considering a Trillian-style clone.
Yahoo is mirroring a move by Microsoft to block unauthorized IM clients from using its .NET messenger network. Yahoo has announced that unauthorized clients will no longer have access after Sept. 24th.
The means for closing out the unauthorized users is a mandatory upgrade issued by the web company. Users must install the update before September 24th, or be termed out of the IM system. The company said that most users have already upgraded and that the older legacy versions were the ones being used by unauthorized users.
In an additional, and somewhat more surprising move, the company offered a survey to its online users asking if they would be willing to pay a relatively small fee for access and use of a Trillian-style IM system. The client would have access to AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ, and Microsoft MSN networks, among others.
The issue that Yahoo may face with such an IM system is that Microsoft and AOL have not been particularly open to other systems accessing their proprietary chat systems. Trillian tried to gain access and was denied, and while Yahoo is a larger system, it will need approval before a viable IM system is possible.
With Yahoo issuing its own IM closing upgrade, requesting openness from Microsoft and AOL might seem a bit hypocritical. However, the ability to chat over all systems is a viable solution for many users, and Yahoo may still have just enough market clout to make it happen.