AOL Ups The Stakes in IM

AOL went on the move Monday with a quartet of announcements that
embed its AOL Instant Messaging (AIM) platform into other services.

Microsoft Outlook users, job seekers, Ruckus Network music
downloaders and financial traders on the Thomson Financial
network will now all have the AIM running man built into
their applications.

The Microsoft Outlook integration (called AIM Sync) was
developed by AOL partner Intellisync and is currently
offered as a free public beta available on With
the AIM Sync service, AIM is integrated into Microsoft
Outlook 2002 or 2003 provider presence awareness and IM
capability with AOL’s IM network. AIM Sync also allows
Outlook contacts to easily get “invited” to join AIM so
users will have even more “buddies”.

Job seekers using will also now be able
to benefit from AIM with a direct integration in that
site. AIM users now have the option of including their AIM
screen names with their resumes so that hiring managers
can more easily contact them. AIM is also being
integrated into the Ruckus Network which is an online
community network with subscription based music and video
content targetted at colleges and universities.

Thomson Financial is integrating AIM into its Thomson
AutEx platfrom that runs on the Thomson ONE desktop. AIM
will be used for presence awareness as well for the direct negotiation of price and quantity between buy-side traders and brokers, AOL officials said. The AIM integration with Thomson’s network was developed with enterprise IM vendor

“Our goal is to offer instant access to the AOL Instant
Messenger service and the familiar AIM Buddy List feature
everywhere consumers are and want to be, from their e-mail
application to their favorite online communities,” said
Chamath Palihapitiya, vice president and general manager,
AIM and ICQ, America Online, a statement “As the
real time communications service of choice for tens of
millions of Americans, the AIM service brings dynamic
interactivity to the sites and services that people use

AIM isn’t the first or the only IM client to be utilized in a financial services setting. In April 2004, Jabber announced that its IM platform had been chosen by the EBS Foreign exchange group (which includes Bank of America, Barclay, Credit Suisse First Boston, JP Morgan Chase and

AIM integration with AOL’s Netscape browser has been a feature of that browser for a number of years now, just as Microsoft’s MSN Messenger is integrated within
Internet Explorer.

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