AOL has just announced the release of an SDK, which will allow the creation and use of 3rd party IM clients and plug-ins on their massive Instant Messaging network. The announcement which was just posted over at Reuters a few minutes ago, comes very unexpected and sheds some light as to why programs such as Trillian have been battling AOL for the last little bit.
A member of the AOL staff just posted an interesting thread on our forums with more details concerning the SDK:
"Today is a historic day at AOL as we annouced,
just moments ago, a software development kit for AOL Instant Messenger.
Open AIM will empower you, as the developer, to write custom clients,
plugins, and eventually bots. When you include this SDK with the web
presence API and AIM Model-T (IAmAlpha, or AIM Modules) we are really
starting to build compelling social network development tools. The SDK
will be available starting at 5AM EST today at developer.aim.com."
The AOL staffer claims that this project has been worked on for the last 2 years or so, and that there are 'no' restrictions as to what can and cannot be developed with the SDK. The only limitation cited, which is sure to keep Trillian and co. on their heals, is the apparent ban on
'multi-headed client' implementation.