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Summary

As IM has grown in popularity among business users, the issue of interoperability has come to the forefront. With no system of standards in place, users on AIM at company X have no way to communicate with those on MSN within the same organization (much less with users of another network outside the company). In early September 2002, the IM Standards Board (IMSB), a newly created consortium that includes the Wall Street firms Lehman Brothers, J.P. Morgan Chase, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, UBS, and Deutsche Bank, met with AOL, Microsoft, IBM, and Yahoo! to encourage the development of common standards within the IM industry.

At issue is the substantial surge in IM popularity and the problems caused by lack of standardization. The IMSB seeks to prod the industry to work together on developing interoperability.


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