Microsoft Committed to IM Interoperability, Asserts Exec

The lack of interoperability is current roadblock to business acceptance of presence applications, advised Microsoft's IM architect at the Instant Messaging Planet Spring conference on Wednesday.

BOSTON—Microsoft Corp.s instant messaging architect Paul Haverstock stated the case for messaging interoperability at the opening keynote address of the Instant Messaging Planet Spring 2004 Conference and Expo here Wednesday.

Haverstock, one of the original developers and former general manager for the Lotus Sametime IM product, said messaging would become as ubiquitous as e-mail is today and would enhance most business applications once a common standard of interoperability between the various corporate and public networks was reached.

"Its time to move on interoperability," said Haverstock. "Ive never met a customer who hasnt asked for interoperability. So lets finish the job."

Haverstock said online presence would someday be as common as Web URL addresses, noting that the Web was designed around the common standards of HTTP and HTML.

IBM and Microsoft, which develop the two most widely-used enterprise IM software applications, both support the SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) for IM and Presence Leveraging (SIMPLE) protocol.

However, a rival IM connectivity protocol, Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) also exists, led by Jabber Inc.

"Interoperability is a matter of will, its not complicated," said Haverstock. "The only ones suffering are businesses. The most value will be created on top of a standard platform.

"When we get to that, well really be able to get into the problems that people want us to solve."

One of those problems is integrating IM into other business applications, a problem Haverstock said IM interoperability would help solve.

"The buddy list is really becoming a legacy application," said Haverstock. "Its useful and has its place, but theres really so much more that we can do."

/zimages/1/28571.gifIn the fall, Microsoft executives described some of the companys road map for presence technologies. Click here to read more.

Haverstock demonstrated scenarios where IM could be used to find experts on a particular subject and where presence could be extended to not only live connections to other people in an organization, but to live data as well.

"Microsoft is committed to helping customers recognize the value of instant communications and theres tremendous value in leveraging legacy assets with the judgment of people," Haverstock said. "As an industry we must step up to these challenges."´

/zimages/1/28571.gifCheck out eWEEK.coms Messaging Center at for more on IM and other collaboration technologies.
Be sure to add our messaging and collaboration news feed to your RSS newsreader or My Yahoo page: /zimages/1/19420.gif