With Yahoo! and MSN facilitating interoperability of the Messenger services of the two Internet giants, 75 per cent of Indian Messenger users will now be on a single platform.
Yahoo! Inc and Microsoft Corp on Thursday announced the interoperability between their two services with limited public beta testing between the rebranded MSN Messenger, Windows Live! and Yahoo! Messenger with voice to connect with each other.
“India is in the first phase of the rollout, so the interoperability is available in India for which one has to ask for the beta version. What happens in a beta test is that as users sign into the new system, the robustness of the service will get tested so that there are no security issues and the service will automatically get expanded throughout the globe,” George Zacharias, MD, Yahoo! India told exchange4media.
Without willing to reveal how many Indian online users would come together with the launch of the facility, Zacharias said, “It will bring together more than 75 per cent of the Messenger users in India.” The interoperability between these two distinct global consumer IM providers is claimed to form the world’s largest consumer IM community approaching 350 million accounts.
When asked how it would help the Internet community in India, Zacharias replied, “It will increase user experience as now they won’t have to open both the Messengers to chat with their buddies who don’t have one of the two Messengers.”
When asked whether this showed that in future there would be greater cooperation between the two Internet giants, Zacharias said, “We are already cooperating in many fields and competing with each other too. But this shows the leadership of the two companies to provide better consumer experience to its users. There have been talk for a long time about interoperability, but we provided the facility before others.”
It may be noted that Gmail and AOL have long been working to make their IM services interoperable, after Google invested $1 billion for a 5 per cent stake in AOL.
When asked whether Yahoo! was also looking at something like Gmail Chat for which one does not need to download a Messenger, and enables the user to chat from the Inbox itself, Zacharias said, “Innovation is the key in the Internet space. Yahoo! has always been a pioneer in innovations and we will continue to provide best consumer experience to our users.”
Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger with Voice users in the US and more than 15 international markets can register to participate in the IM interoperability beta by visiting Yahoo! at http://ca.messenger.yahoo.com or Microsoft at http://ideas.live.com. Apart from India, the new beta program will be available in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Hong Kong, Korea, Italy, Germany, Mexico, the Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, the UK and the US.