— 12:38 AM on June 16, 2000

Putting on a happy face for antitrust regulators, AOL may open the protocol for its Instant Messenger so other message programs could be interoperable. (Thanks to SMiLEY for the link.) Since AOL owns ICQ and its instant messaging programs have a huge portion of the market, this could be a big step toward a standard. AOL's saying they support an industry-wide standards effort refereed by the IETF, so we may soon be able to trade instant messages across a whole range of programs. And, I'll betcha, a whole range of devices. Ready for PalmICQ? "Uh-oh."

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