Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL\u00a0Wednesday announced enhancements to their respective instant messaging services for businesses at the opening day of the Fall 2003 Instant Messaging Planet Conference and Expo in San Diego.Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL\u00a0Wednesday announced enhancements to their respective instant messaging services for businesses at\u00a0the opening day of the Fall 2003 Instant Messaging Planet Conference and Expo in San Diego.AOL certified Akonix Systems, maker of an\u00a0instant messaging management software, as a partner of its AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) service for businesses. Meanwhile, Yahoo launched its revamped business instant messaging service, Yahoo Business Messenger 2.0, with integrated Web conferencing capabilities from WebEx Communications. Finally, Microsoft announced the integration of IMlogic's IMlogic IM Manager with the Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2003. IMlogic competes against Akonix.The moves are designed to boost the companies' capabilities in the fast-growing corporate instant messaging space. Instant messaging communications, which first flourished as free services among individual home users, quickly found their way to corporate offices, as users took advantage of the ability to exchange messages instantly and in real time with coworkers and outside business partners.However, companies quickly realized if employees were exchanging sensitive and confidential work-related information and data over instant messaging networks, then corporate instant messaging communications needed certain security, management and control features that the regular services for individuals lacked. Now Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL all provide special software, tools and services for companies that want to use their instant messaging networks for work-related communications.By making Akonix an AIM partner, AOL certifies that the Akonix L7 Enterprise instant messaging communications manager works well with its instant messaging service. It also means the companies will collaborate in enhancing and extending the Akonix L7 Enterprise for the AIM network, and that those improvements are authorized, compatible and supported by AOL, said Peter Coppola, Akonix's vice president of product marketing.Meanwhile, Yahoo Business Messenger 2.0 is available now, giving users the ability to blend instant messaging with Web meeting services, allowing users to, among other things, share applications and presentations with integrated video and voice conferencing, according to information on this section of Yahoo's Web site.Finally, the Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2003, essentially server software for providing\u00a0instant messaging\u00a0services, gains the ability to log, archive and report on\u00a0instant messaging\u00a0usage through its integration with IMlogic IM Manager.