Yahoo scraps enterprise IM

Yahoo confirmed on Thursday that it is no longer selling a version of its popular instant-messaging service for corporations, ending the Web portal's attempt to sell IM as a software package.

The dropping of Yahoo Messenger Enterprise Edition marks the end of the Web portal's now-defunct enterprise software division. The unit was created in 2000 to sell customized Web portals and video conferencing services for internal use in corporations. But in October 2003, Yahoo scrapped the division and melded its businesses with their consumer counterparts.

In an informal interview earlier this week, Yahoo's Chief Information Officer Lars Rabbe said the enterprise instant messenger was shelved, because Yahoo is largely a consumer company and not structured to take on the kind of support tasks and other responsibilities that come with selling corporate software.

Like Yahoo, AOL has retrenched its enterprise IM division. It has opted instead to sell add-ons such as video conferencing for a fee. Microsoft has focused less on MSN Messenger and more on its Live Communications Server--which combines IM, Net phone calling and video conferencing--as its enterprise communications product.

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