“AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) users can now establish live video streaming conversations with iChat Macintosh users, thanks to an AIM software upgrade released by America Online Inc. Thursday,” Juan Carlos Perez reports for IDG News Service. “Version 5.5 of AIM for the first time lets users conduct live video streaming conversations using their AIM connection, provided they have a Web cam, a microphone and a PC running the Windows XP operating system, said Jamie Odell, director of AOL’s instant messaging product marketing.”
“This feature is compatible with Apple Computer Inc.’s iChat AV 2.1 instant messaging service, which means AIM Windows PC users will be able to establish live video streaming conversations with iChat Macintosh users. iChat and AIM users already had the ability to exchange text instant messages. The iChat service is hosted on the AIM network, so the link between the two doesn’t require an external network bridge,” Perez reports. “Adding this video streaming feature and extending it to Macintosh users makes this ‘a fairly significant AIM upgrade,’ said Michael Osterman, president of Osterman Research Inc., which focuses on the messaging market.” Full article here.
Macintosh users have had the ability to chat with high-quality video and audio since June 2003 when Apple released iChat AV public beta. More information about Apple’s iChat AV here.
MacDailyNews Take: Apple leads. Wintel follows. As usual. But, by reading the Associated Press report below, Joe Sixpack Whatsamac wouldn’t know a thing about the eight month lead or that AOL is tying into Apple’s already-exisiting iChat AV community. Contrast our headline with this from AP:
Apple Computer Inc. released a new version of its iChat software Thursday so Macintosh users can now do video chats with America Online subscribers who have Windows-based PCs. The move is the latest example of Apple expanding beyond its enclosed world of Macintosh owners. Last month, Apple signed a deal allowing Hewlett-Packard Co. to bundle its iTunes digital jukebox software with HP’s Windows-based PCs.
Apple users already can do instant messaging with AOL users, but using only text. The new iChat AV 2.1 version adds videoconferencing support for AOL’s latest version of its instant-messaging program, AIM 5.5, also launched Thursday. That means iChat users are no longer confined to face-to-face talks with only users of Macintosh’s OS X Panther