Back in the late 90′s, Instant Messaging was a big thing in the internet. AOL’s AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), Yahoo, and ICQ were the big players in the market. In 1997, Microsoft acquired Hotmail, one of the most popular e-mail service. By seeing the popularity of the instant messengers, Microsoft decided to enter the market with MSN Messenger by allowing every Hotmail user be able to log on to Messenger with a Hotmail address and password as seamlessly as possible. Along with that plan, Microsoft decided to include AIM log-in option to allow millions of users to instantly connect with each other. Obviously, AOL didn’t allow Microsoft to get access to their system and Microsoft decided to break through it. Microsoft decided to reverse engineer AOL’s chat protocol and implemented the integration. A developer at MSN Messenger at that time has now shared his work on how everyday they used to decode AOL’s protocol ...

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