AOL and Microsoft square up for messaging war

America Online and Microsoft are heading for a showdown over Internet instant messaging technology, as the service becomes...

America Online and Microsoft are heading for a showdown over Internet instant messaging technology, as the service becomes increasingly important to business users, according to a Gartner Group study.

Gartner said that 52% of consumers and 40% of business users rely on AOL Instant Messenger, while 36% of consumers and 40% of business users go for MSN Instant Messenger.

The consultancy group predicted that the battle between the rival technologies would come to a climax by 2003, resulting in either a marketing and technology deal between AOL and Microsoft, or in one of the two companies leaving the instant messaging market.

According to Gartner, Microsoft "holds the upper hand in terms of Web services technology". However, it also "has issues with public perception in terms of trust and reliability". Users may be reluctant to trust Microsoft with sensitive information transmitted via instant messaging.

Visit AOL Time Warner at http://www.aoltimewarner.com/
Visit Microsoft at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/

Rick Perera

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