One of the things that has been missing in the IM story for enterprise customers is that ability to easily connect to the largest IM providers in a secure and orderly fashion, irrespective of which IM provider is being used. Today, there is a big announcement about this:

Microsoft, America Online, MSN and Yahoo! Announce Industry-First Connectivity to Enterprise Instant Messaging Users

Here at Microsoft, we have IM "presence" in many applications, and from a client perspective, it's easy with Outlook 2003, and Live Communications Server does the behind the scenes work (see my article "Sorting Out Microsoft's Collaboration Technologies") . But, the fact is that there are many people who have IM presence on AOL, and Yahoo! as well. How do we tie all of these IM providers together to make it more transparent much the way email is right now? When someone sends me mail from a non-Exchange mail server, I could care less (except that I wish they would use Exchange!), because I just want to communicate. Although there have been efforts and tools to unify disparate IM networks, none is as comprehensive and seamless as the one announced today.

 Rock thought for the day: Listened to "Set the ray to Jerry"- a great, great song from the double-CD version of the Smashing Pumpkins Greatest Hits. Of course, you MUST have more than just this album to be a true Pumpkins fan. If you get the greatest hits, make sure you get the double-CD version as the second CD (Judas 0) is worth the price of the whole.

BTW: I was unaware until going to TechEd that people expect me to wear my cap all of the time! When I went around with just my bald head, people asked, "Hey, John! Where's the cap?" The truth is that I wear it to keep my head warm, thus I wear it less in the summer. In case you want one, I got it at a little store here in Woodinville, WA called Sirplus. It's a Navy-style cap.

Rock on.