MSN Messanger Purging of the Unworthy

Well, it looks like the start of the purging of the evil non-microsoft clients from the MSN Messanger network has begun. Didn’t microsoft rally a while back for instant messanger standards? Guess they figured they had enough market share that it was time to lock out everyone else.

Not that I’m one for a good conspiracy theory (well, I am), but this post has a good point. How dare those evil third parties steal all that advertising revenue!

Anyway, I got a lovely message via my Jabber today when I signed in:

(11:13:58) You are running a version of messenger that requires an immediate security update. Please visit to complete the update.

It was listed as a “required upgrade”. Does me a lot of good, as I use Gaim. Gaim has released a statement about the whole thing, but there hasn’t been anything since the announcement was first made. They also note (as I do below) about the dangers of just making it work.

There have been all sorts of talk about this, but a distinct lack of “here is what to do if you are a third party developer.” Microsoft says it’s not locking anyone out, just requiring agreements with third party tool developers. I can only imagine what is required to get licensed though… fees, NDAs, guarentees that you’ll display Microsofts ads and nothing but Microsofts ads, binary only releases… shudder

From what I understand the new protocol version 9 isn’t going to be all that hard to reverse engineer, but as the DMCA is a great tool for someone with gobs of money to stomp on “the little guy”, I have no doubt that the developers of third party tools will either bend over for Bill or simply drop support for fear of being sued out of their own clothes. Which is sad. But hey, they don’t have a monopoly of course.

Sadly there are people that I know that are only on MSN, as jabber hasn’t caught on enough yet.

I even went as far as to email Scoble to see who one would talk to about the third party licensing, even just to find out what it involves, as he’s the only person I “know” inside Microsoft. He hasn’t gotten back to me yet though…. maybe my email got lost amidst all the SoBig emails that everyone but me seems to be getting.

Update Robert got back to me with the following: “… the alternate way into our system requires signing (and paying for) a licensing agreement.” Apparently there’s about as much information on this available inside microsoft as there is outside. I sent an email to (I’m a glutten for punishment) and was assured that my email would be processed individually by a real peson and information would be coming back to me RSN. Appreciate Robert’s legwork for me though.