The generous streak at Time Warner's
Last month, both AOL and Yahoo!
AIM Pro, codeveloped with WebEx
The press release I received from AOL calls the notable lack of price tag for the service a way to "super-serve business users." This marks an interesting shift in strategy -- or perhaps the ultimate refusal to switch strategies, since the consumer-oriented AIM has always been free.
When I wrote about the initial AIM Pro announcement in February, AOL didn't have pricing details finalized, but it seemed to be leaning towards a subscription-based, per-user fee model. Whether or not corporate users would want to shell out for tricked-out IM has always been a question; as I pointed out at the time, all the major IM clients have begun to integrating bells and whistles like videoconferencing and voice in their free products. The shift from fee to free may not be quite as interesting as AOL's possible plans to eliminate fees for most AOL members, but it's pretty darn close.
IM continues to be a popular way for folks to interact with one another, whether it's through text, voice, or even video. Of course, the competition is heated; even Google
Microsoft is an Inside Value recommendation.
Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.