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Inside Microsoft’s ’90s chat war with AOL

21
Apr
2014

Microsoft might have killed off its Messenger service in favor of Skype recently, but back in 1999 it was the centerpiece of a heated war between the software giant and AOL. At the time, Microsoft had just introduced its MSN Messenger Service as a direct rival to AOLs popular AIM instant messenger. David Auerbach, a former Microsoft engineer who worked directly on MSN Messenger, recounts his unusual role in a chat war with AOL. Auerbach had reverse-engineered AOLs chat protocol to allow MSN Messenger to sign into AIM, a process that AOL wasnt happy with when Microsoft first released its instant messaging client in July 1999.

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