is it just my warped mind or would ichat be sooooo much better if it supported msn or yahoo IM, or icq, or all three. is this just a pipe dream? is it even possible? or will they not enable it because of some marketing thing?
Well, AOL is the leader in IM clients: approximately 41 million home users in total (and approx 10 million work users), where MSN is in second place (last time I checked) at roughly 18 million.
The difference being AOL offers both on-line access to the internet as well as their intranet which outside surfers cannot access. As well as there are IM users like the rest of us who either use iChat or AOL IM without actually subcribing to AOL.
AOL's subscription rate is amazing. I used to work for a web company who were at one time Atlantic Canada's only America On-Line's Content developer. I even had a chance to visit AOL University in Virginia and had an opportunity to learn some crazy shiznit with their proprietary tools.
At the time, their client base was approximately 20 million subscribers... they practically double their audience every several years (give or take).
I doubt MSN will ever break into that level of audience, unless of course they reach a deal with AOL to allow sharing, which I doubt since AOL is a part of TimeWarner who also own Netscape... etc. etc. There is a little bit of bad blood since the days when MS used to co-develop AOL's internal browser.
As cool as it would be to have Apple include MSN or YahooIM support in iChat, I just can't see it happening. Apple only has iChat out as an AOL compatible client because they licensed the rights to do so from AOL, and I just can't really see either Yahoo or Microsoft doing the same thing (especially Microsoft because well all know how MS is with competition).