Trillian users may lose access to AOL's IM network

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People using the popular Trillian software may lose access to part of AOL Time Warner's instant messaging system.

Trillian, which allows people to access multiple instant messaging programs from one screen, has attracted nearly a million people who are hoping to streamline their use of incompatible systems, including AOL's AIM and ICQ, Yahoo's Messenger and Microsoft's MSN Messenger.

But in the past 24 hours, an elaborate game of cat and mouse has developed between AOL and Trillian creator Cerulean Studios--as the start-up has repeatedly released new software designed to get around the block, prompting AOL to rush in and stop people from using it.

"AOL is being selfish," Trillian user Mike Cicciarelli said in an instant messaging exchange with

Trillian user Chris Hilbert said he's downloaded new software several times in the past day in an attempt to re-establish access with AIM. Hilbert said he uses Trillian because it's simple.

"I like that there are no ads, less bloat," said Hilbert, an Indiana University student and creator of the FileFlash Web site. "I don't have to have four different clients open."

But AOL said it's a matter of security and is framing the conflict as yet another chapter in the instant messaging wars. In recent years, AOL has clashed with other makers of IM software, including Microsoft and AT&T. Both companies tried to create systems that let people correspond with AIM users--only to have them blocked.

News source: ZDNet

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