We\u2019ve recently been looking at messaging programs, including MSN Messenger and Skype. Our overwhelming conclusion has been that they are great in concept but all fall short of being ready for wholesale implementation at this time.The biggest failure is finding a single multifunction program that multiple communities will agree to use. Of the three programs we tested, there was always a group of people with an objection to using one of the programs.Let\u2019s begin with MSN Messenger. As discussed in prior newsletters, it worked fairly well. However, we immediately started running into people who objected to MSN Messenger because of its tight integration with Microsoft Internet Explorer.Then we went to AOL Instant Messenger. Seems as if some of our contacts found that it is difficult to uninstall. So we have to admit that there is a sizable community of folks who don\u2019t exactly love AOL.And we\u2019re already discussed the issues that some people have with Skype - if for no other reason than it was brought to you by the same folks who developed Kazaa.So for connectivity among our contacts, we\u2019re currently running three programs with messaging and presence management.Clearly, what we eventually need is interoperability. Imagine if you could only talk on the phone to people who happened to subscribe to a service from a given long-distance phone company. AT&T customers, MCI customers, and Sprint customers, along with every other company\u2019s customers, would be closed user groups.We\u2019ll keep our eyes out for a solution to this problem. At this point, though, we\u2019re not expecting anything too quickly.Each messaging service has a lot to gain by having its own dedicated user base. In fact, that\u2019s a major reason all three of these services are \u201cfree.\u201d And there\u2019s little if anything at this juncture that the service providers gain from interoperability.