Google & AIM-Together Again

By Steve Anderson March 15, 2012

One thing you might have noticed if you've been online lately is that there are a lot of instant messenger suites out there. Yahoo Instant Messenger, MSN Instant Messenger and of course AOL's Instant Messenger (AIM) have been around for years.

One of the newest arrivals is Google, with its Gmail Chat and Google Talk services. And for a while, you could actually use AIM together with Google’s service. Though it was temporarily halted two weeks ago, the services are back up, and AIM users can now use their services with Google's once more.

Two weeks ago, spam was found flooding from AOL's Instant Messenger, which targeted both Gmail Chat and Google Talk. The two companies subsequently severed their programs' interoperability until a solution could be found. AOL had originally projected that the solution would be in play by Thursday of last week, but it took a bit longer than expected. It was finally ready for launch on Tuesday of this week. A day later, the problem returned, and on Wednesday, the services were officially declared interoperable once more.

The restoration of interoperability provides, once again, the capability for users on Google's networks to engage in IM conversations with those users on AOL networks – significantly more convenient than opening up a separate program specifically to handle users on that network.

This is good news at the right time for AOL, who was already planning layoffs, though not solely related to this latest issue. And since AOL reportedly generates $50 million annually but costs half that to operate, it's not surprising that the firm wants to trim costs. Some reports suggest that AOL wants to drop that cost down to around an eighth of what it's currently requiring, or under $3 million a year.

But whether you believe that such a move would come too little too late to do any real good for the struggling AOL, they're going ahead with it, and hopefully such a move can keep the entire company viable for years to come.

Edited by Braden Becker

Contributing TechZone360 Writer

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