Yahoo IM may lock out third-party clients

Yahoo Inc. seems to have taken a hint from Microsoft Corp. and is planning changes to its instant messaging (IM) service that could lock out users of third-party IM clients.

The Sunnyvale, California, company last week started notifying users of older versions of its Yahoo Messenger client that they have to upgrade before Sept. 24 or they will no longer be able to log on, Yahoo spokeswoman Mary Osako said Tuesday.

However, the move does not affect only users of older Yahoo IM clients. As a result of the Yahoo update, third-party IM clients could also be locked out of the Yahoo IM network. Users who connect to Yahoo's network via some versions of Trillian, a popular IM client that allows users to consolidate multiple IM accounts, also are getting Yahoo's alert to upgrade each time they log on.

"The upgrade likely will affect third-party clients," Osako said.

The Yahoo upgrade involves an update to the company's IM protocol and is meant to prevent abuse of Yahoo's network by senders of unsolicited instant messages, according to Osako.

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