Facebook And Google Chat Are No Longer Supported By Outlook
Every software service provider tries to make its customers stick to its platform in all possible ways. Google does it by offering services that are compatible only with one another. For example, Google’s messaging app Hangouts is available on Windows, but it requires Chrome browser to work. The result is consumers eventually using Google’s services. The same strategy is adopted by Apple which makes consumers stick to its ecosystem comprising of iOS and Mac.
Now, Microsoft is doing the same. It recently announced in an email, which was sent to Outlook.com users, that Facebook and Google chat services will no longer be supported. Microsoft said in the email:
Within the next couple of weeks, we will be discontinuing support for Facebook Chat in Outlook.com. And due to Google’s decision to discontinue the chat protocol used by the Google Talk platform, we can no longer provide Google Chat in Outlook.com. We understand that this may disappoint some of our customers, but we hope that you’ll try Skype for Outlook.com chat, and voice and video calling, so you can take advantage of the more robust ways to keep in touch with friends and family.
The Redmond company also suggested that disappointed users may try switching to Skype as it “warrants richer communication.”
Microsoft didn’t disclose the reason behind discontinuation of support for Facebook chat. It is reported that the company believes Skype is the complete platform for communications, and it is already preferred by Outlook.com as Facebook chat saw deprecation in Outlook.com.
But many find that Skype is not yet ready to be called as a messaging app like Hangouts and Facebook chat. It is rather old-fashioned, showing multiple accounts such as old Skype account, Outlook account, Messenger accounts for individual users. Moreover, iOS have issues with notifications when the app is closed or phone is in sleep mode.
The reason for discontinuation of support for Google chat, however, is the change in protocol which was made as Hangouts replaced Google Talk. Because of this change, Outlook.com will not be able to support Google chat as Google Talk does not support Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP), an IETF standard for instant messaging.
The process of discontinuation will start in next two weeks.
Microsoft has been making its services compatible with more and more services for last six months. It released cross platform apps such as Office for Mac, and also released a lock screen app for Android.
Microsoft’s Skype is also available on all platforms from Mac to Linux, and from Android to iOS. This is Skype’s strong point which makes it favorable than other messaging services. However, Microsoft needs to solve many issues currently found in Skype if it wishes to convince users to ditch other services.
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