ICQ to ping application developers

America Online's ICQ subsidiary is hoping to juice up its popular instant messenger with games and other applications, as part of a major software overhaul to be officially unveiled next week.

The Internet pioneer expects to release the latest version of its instant messaging (IM) client, ICQ 4.0, on Tuesday, sources said. At that time, the company will also announce an initiative that for the first time will allow partners to obtain ICQ application programming interfaces (APIs), according to people familiar with the plan.

ICQ is expected to eventually release open APIs to the public, sources said, but it has not yet set a timeframe for general availability.

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News source: c|net News.com

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