RealTime IT News

Apple, AOL Strike Instant Messaging Deal

Apple Computer Inc. and America Online Inc. Thursday announced an agreement to create instant messaging products for Mac users that will allow seamless communication between Mac users and the AOL Instant Messenger service.

The deal will allow Mac users to exchange messages online in real-time with friends and family, as well as 40 million AIM users.

Steve Jobs, Apple interim chief executive officer, said the Mac community was happy to shake hands with AIM members.

"AOL has built the biggest and best instant messaging service in the world," Jobs said. "We're partnering with AOL to create instant messaging products that will further enhance the Internet experience for Macintosh customers."

Bob Pittman, AOL president and chief operating officer, said it was essential that collaboration efforts produced a secure transition for Mac and AOL users to communicate instantly with each other.

"We are thrilled to add Apple to our growing list of AIM partners, and look forward to working with them to ensure the smooth and efficient integration of their customers into the global instant messaging community in a seamless and secure way."

AOL also has instant messaging interoperability agreements with IBM Corp. for Lotus Notes instant messaging access, Netscape and RealNetworks.

Over the past week Microsoft Corp. and AOL have been playing a tug-of-war over security issues and permissions for MSN members to access AOL's AIM servers. Neither company has come to the table with a solution to end their squabble over instant messaging access to date.

Currently, there are more than 40 million registered users of America Online's Buddy List and AIM services. AOL reported that the two services account for sending more than 430 million messages a day.