AOL, owners of the AIM and ICQ instant messaging services, may at long last be opening them up properly, using XMPP. They’ve got a beta/test XMPP service running (which is a good sign) but haven’t announced anything yet. I think we’ve definitely passed the tipping point now. Google set a good example.
This is very unlikely to mean that AOL’s dropping its own proprietary protocols, or even encouraging the use of XMPP over their own: AIM has some features that aren’t yet present as standards in XMPP. It’s possible that they could implement their own extensions as Apple has done, or they may simply implement XMPP as an alternative connection method and gateway to the XMPP Federation. No doubt they’ll be some official announcement soon - the news has reached Slashdot.
I’ve not been active in the Jabber dev community for a couple of years now, but I’m still an enthusiastic user, and this makes me gleefully happy.
Next: Yahoo and Microsoft. Who’ll give in first?