Remember the first time you used ICQ? And then it seemed like all of your friends used AOL IM? And then, instead of having Yahoo IM, AOL IM, and MSN IM all running as separate apps on your desktop, you discovered Trillian? Oh, life was good, back then... Now, do you remember the first time that you used Jabber and were able to see presence information about those in your buddy group? That was an epiphany, of sorts, and you knew that was the right direction for apps to go. Well, it looks like Microsoft has been able to make it work the right way by embedding IM and presence information in MS Office 2003 and via MS Live Communications Server.
Just wait until you see it in action. And then, watch to see how long it takes for you or a friend to write an app that takes advantage of the fact that you can expect to have IM and presence capabilities on each desktop.
See the below article for a related story.
In the late '90s, Microsoft's Internet Explorer replaced the Netscape browser as my company upgraded to new operating systems. It was just one of thousands of switches that turned the dominant Netscape program into an also-ran, and, incidentally, contributed to the antitrust litigation that tied up Microsoft for years.