Gmail supports AIM. That's good news. Err, it's bad news! This is an evil feature and in this article I will write why Google is evil.
First, Michael Davidson, a Googler, writes in the announcement that
'Google has been committed to open standards and interoperation for instant messaging. So when our friends at AOL agreed to let Gmail users talk to users on their network, we jumped at the chance.'
This is a shameful lie and an abuse of the term 'open standard': no open standards are involved in the evil Gmail feature. Gmail behaves like a normal AIM client. The AIM servers still talk a proprietary protocol and so does Gmail; nothing changed. So, we are still talking about walled gardens in instant messaging.
Technically, Gmail now became a multiprotocol client implementing a proprietary instant messaging protocol. Google thus promotes the use of the proprietary networks by allowing their users to connect to this walled garden.
As I wrote a few months ago, multiprotocol clients are a curse:
More details about these these tough claims can be found in the section Why a Curse and Why Transports? of that article.
Google's agreement with AOL is a coalition between 2 incumbent players. Such a partnership is an evil entry barrier to make it more difficult for other players in the market to compete on the same level. Both Google and AOL restrict the market by this move. This is not compatible with Google's "Don't be evil".
If Google want to restore it's reputation for not being evil, it should process the items on this TODO list:
Other bloggers who also don't like the AIM feature:
This list will be updated when you provide me more links.