FCC adds to instant messaging standards mess

By James Kobielus, Network World |  Software

Instant messaging and presence cannot be enterprise-grade services without open interoperability specifications. For example, at the server-to-server level you won't be able to easily interface premises-based and outsourced instant messaging/presence environments.

The IMPP Working Group's failure kills any hopes the industry had to see standards this year. For some time, most instant messaging vendors and service providers have bowed toward the "eventual" IMPP standards. Even AOL has expressed a general commitment to some day implement whatever standard emerges from the group. Now it's clear that the wait-for-IMPP approach has proven counterproductive for the industry.

The most likely beneficiary of the IMPP Working Group's failure is the Jabber.org instant messaging/ presence open-source initiative. Jabber stands a decent chance of becoming a de facto industry interoperability framework in lieu of IMPP. For now, though, Jabber is just one of many competing interoperability frameworks in a crowded, confusing marketplace.

To develop into a business-grade service, the instant messaging/presence industry will need to break through the standards stalemate this year. It's just not clear who will provide the leadership necessary to pull it from the muck.

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