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AIM Professional--Too Little Too Late?

The release of AIM Professional--despite encryption, antivirus support and access to extra content--may be a year late and a barrel of enterprise features short.

AOL recently released AIM Professional, an enhanced client application for its market-leading IM network. This Pro version offers Outlook and WebEx integration, encryption, antivirus support and access to extra content including news, tech podcasts and stock quotes.

Unfortunately for AOL, it may be a year late and a barrel of enterprise features short. This functionality should have long-since been available, and there's still no truly enterprise-ready version of AIM--admins can't even install a local AOL server. AOL could have dominated the enterprise market, but instead let competitors like IBM/Lotus, Microsoft, Jabber-compatible networks and unified-messaging vendors take that arena while it focused on consumers. Whether AOL's consumer-focused AIM strategy is sound is debatable--social networking sites, like myspace.com, are diminishing the usefulness of IM for younger consumers.

So, will the company move to sell a SIP-compliant AIM server to the enterprise and let users federate with the public AIM network? At this point, that may be moot. When it comes to AOL, the only thing most enterprise administrators care about is blocking it. --Mike DeMaria, mdemaria@nwc.com

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