December 11, 2000, 10:16 AM — On the surface, it would seem that instant messaging software is not relevant to the
IT community or for corporate use. But that is not the case. Many workers, even though
attached to the Internet through their corporate T1 or T3 connections, are using
products such as America Online's Instant Messenger service because it is actually
faster than email.
How can this be? Many email clients check for new mail at predetermined intervals, such
as every five or every 10 minutes. Instant massaging, on the other hand, is just that:
instantaneous. Send a message from your desk in Los Angeles to a colleague in Boston,
and it arrives at its destination in seconds. Easy to use, these services are faster
than picking up the phone, are perfect for quick exchanges of conversation and, in many
cases, can be used for transferring files. They are free, and ensure privacy.