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4/1/2009
09:05 AM
Fredric Paul
Fredric Paul
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Zoho Updates Its Free Chat Application

At the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco today, Zoho is upgrading the free chat component of its suite of online business and productivity applications. Zoho Chat 2.0 supports multiple instant messaging protocols and integrates into the entire Zoho suite.

At the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco today, Zoho is upgrading the free chat component of its suite of online business and productivity applications. Zoho Chat 2.0 supports multiple instant messaging protocols and integrates into the entire Zoho suite.According to Zoho evangelist Raju Vegesna, Zoho Chat 2.0 works with Yahoo!, Google, MSN, AIM, ICQ, and Jabber-based IM networks, and supplies "presence" information for all of them.

I especially liked the fact that you can search chat histories, and search across multiple chat histories at once. You can also search chat histories by date. You can also embed a chat in a blog or a Web site.

That's useful, but there are any number of multi-platform chat clients. Not surprisingly, Zoho Chat 2.0's real value comes when it's used with the rest of the Zoho suite. The new software is integrated with Zoho CRM, for example, to let you track chat, contact info, and email conversations all in one place. You can also share documents among chat participants, and even share your desktop with users of any IM network using Zoho Meeting integration. You can add events to your calendar directly from the chat application.

And that's the real point of Zoho Chat 2.0, I think. Not necessarily to get businesses to switch IM clients, but to choose Zoho over Salesforce.com or Google Apps.

The upgraded version of the free application is available today.

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