Google has finally turned on interoperability with AIM which means people on Gchat can talk to those on the AOL IM service. The official Google announcement is here. I originally heard about this news earlier today on Blogoscoped.

My favorite part about this notification is the fact that Google is open to working with other IM networks

P.S. If you own a large IM network and would like to work with us, have your people contact our people.

I was talking with some friends about this who basically had this to say:

So are you telling me that pretty soon I will never have to use AIM again to talk with AIM buddy’s?

The answer is yes!

I bring this up because I was thinking about how many people actually want to live in the Gmail window and never leave. This new feature makes this possible. I posted about this earlier talking about the interoperability of instant messengers being the holy grail application. We are now one step closer to that reality.

This does however have larger implications. In one broad stroke Google has essentially given the ability for all AIM users to communicate with folks on the gmail system in real time. This essentially is a win for the “attention war” that is happening right now. In the future all platforms will be open, but you will still want people using your platform. Google has essentially made the first solid step in getting people happy with the Gmail interface so much so they are willing to give up other interfaces.

Let me put this another way – many people are not satisfied with the AIM and other IM client interfaces. I believe that Trillian should open the floodgates and release Astra now before it is too late. “Release early and release often” is what I have always heard and they need to do something to shake up the market.

The war for your attention is not new – but the next phase of battle rests with the instant messaging clients.