Yahoo has decided to stop support for the business version of their instant messaging program. They say that the development of this type of offering lies beyond its core strenght as a provider of consumer-oriented Internet services.
Instead Yahoo is going to focus on their free IM service, and will rely on partners to make it palatable for business users.
"We have reorganized our instant messaging business to optimize our ability to leverage the Yahoo network, whether our customers are at work or at home. By offering an instant messaging product that is based on a single platform, we are even better prepared to address market needs by offering features based on segmented needs," a spokesperson for the company says, reading from a prepared statement.
Yahoo Business Messenger was a hosted service accessed via instant messaging software from Yahoo loaded on users' PCs. It offered features that many companies want and need for instant messaging, including message encryption, IT management and administration tools, message logging and archiving, voice and video communications, and online meetings.
Regarding support for existing Business Messenger users, a Yahoo spokesperson writes in an e-mail: "We are committed to our customers and we will work with them to provide the best solution to meet their business instant messaging needs. Through relationships with companies, like Akonix, we are working with our customers to provide IT administrator functionality for the use of Yahoo Messenger in the business environment. This is an ongoing process, and there is no specific 'shut-off' date [for the Business Messenger service]."