Today on The Heise Online, there is an article under the title “Microsoft opens Messenger up to XMPP”
Before you celebrate, it’s not exactly XMPP, they’ve just found a way to hijack it and exploit it for their own gain. In effect, “pulling another Microsoft Java” on the open XMPP chat protocol.
From the article:
Microsoft is supporting the core protocol (RFC6120), instant messaging and presence (RFC6121) and XMPP Standard extensions for vCards, chat state notifications and delayed delivery. Microsoft has, though, also implemented a custom OAuth2 authentication scheme which means that developers will have to add support for that authentication mechanism and obtain an application ID and secret. That requirement also stops existing XMPP clients from connecting to the Microsoft service without modifications.
What this means is that Microsoft gets the benefit of allowing users of its proprietary ad and spyware-laden Windows Live Messenger to add contacts using a real XMPP server and communicate with them, but users of free and open source software cannot use Microsoft’s “XMPP” to connect to the Windows Live Messenger network.
All hail the new Microsoft, same as the old Microsoft….
Facebook has also mutilated the XMPP standard for their own benefit, theirs doesn’t have federation support so you can’t use it to talk to non-Facebook users.
Big companies as usual, exploit and adapt open standards to make proprietary offshoots.
If you’re considering using XMPP, two servers that I recommend are the original Jabber.org or using your Google Talk account (doesn’t have to be Gmail, and you don’t need their Google Talk software to use it, just as long as you have a Google account and an XMPP compliant client software). Real XMPP services that implement the protocol faithfully can communicate with each other allowing a decentralized chat network. This is how the protocol was designed to be used.
The only benefit that users of the open standard XMPP will get from Microsoft’s announcement is that if they have any contacts that are unable, unwilling, or too dense to get rid of Microsoft’s secret Windows Live Messenger protocol, they can now talk to those users. But those contacts can never use XMPP in freedom with any Microsoft software or servers. It really serves to try to stop the exodus of smarter Windows Live users that get sick of being exploited by Microsoft and leave for the much superior open standard that unadulterated XMPP provides them with.