Microsoft Puts A Price On IM

from the are-they-really? dept

The headline of this article makes it sound as if Microsoft is pulling a Trillian, and charging more for an upgraded version of their next IM client, but the details don’t really bear that out. All they’re doing is offering a version with more features to subscribers to their MSN service. So, it’s not that the IM itself costs more. And, the additional features don’t really seem all that compelling. The only one really discussed in the article is “parental controls”. Somewhat surprising that this would be a “subscriber only” service – as I could see parents who aren’t MSN subscribers complaining about the lack of this feature in the regular IM version. The more scary thing about this, though, is the move towards more of a “walled garden” approach that people have talked about for a while. While AOL has always held onto this sort of strategy, what will happen when all the major ISPs offer their own proprietary apps and content? My guess is that most people will ignore them and stick with the freely available alternatives. Walling people off when they’re already used to the open internet doesn’t seem likely to work very well.

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