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How Many Messengers

Techstination feature for Thursday, August 19, 1999

The instant messaging nightmare. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bootcamp, a report on computers and technology. This is getting to be ridiculous. Every day, users of Microsoft's new Messenger software are getting knocked offline by AOL Instant Messenger. AOL invites you to download its authorized software and Microsoft updates its program and asks you to download that. On top of all that, if you have a lot of friends online, some of them probably use ICQ, which doesn't work with either one of the other instant messengers. Now NeoPlanet is coming out with a new version of its browser....and you guessed it...

"Most importantly, we've integrated in instant messaging and club functions from Net Clubs as part of the user experience for NeoPlanet."

NeoPlanet's Drew Cohen. The interface is neat...and it's free. But another messaging client?

"It's very interesting what's going on in the AOL-Microsoft wars at the moment and over time, we will allow NeoPlanet to inter-operate with the largest user base of other instant messaging apps."

What AOL, Microsoft, NeoPlanet, its partner Yahoo and others are really battling over is you. They want to be the first place you log onto when you get on the net. The buzzword is portal.

"What we want is to put all those features at the user's fingertips."

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