Recently Microsoft came out with the new Windows Live Groups, and I have found a similar service to compare with it from http://groups.im/. Both of them are used by people all around the world and both came out to the market at 2008, Groups.im is a third party platform for group chat. There are differences and some similarities in both of them.Windows Live Groups support up to 48 different languages, Groups.im has only 8 different language packs. Groups.im have a great advantage, which is being able to work with various instant messengers, but the Windows Live Groups only run with Windows Live Messenger. So the advantage of Groups.im is that it will support all mainstream instant messengers on the market, so far it allows users to sign up with their Windows Live ID or Yahoo account for free and soon most of other instant messengers like Google Talk, AIM, ICQ, etc. will also be able to sign in with their account and use the service for free.
Groups.im allows a revolutionary new chat experience. It will have the ability to let people chat through the platform and actually have a boundary-less communication between different instant messengers.
|Features||Windows Live Groups||Groups.im||Details|
|Release date||December 2008||April 2008|
|Total users||Unknown||5,000,000*||* Official statistics, updated to publishing date|
|Groups created||Unknown||200000*||* Official statistics, updated to publishing date|
|IM networks capable for IM group chat||Windows Live||Windows Live, Yahoo, AOL/AIM/ICQ, Google Talk, Skype etc.*||* Still working on AOL/AIM/ICQ, Google Talk, Skype|
|IM platform capable for IM group chat||Windows Live Messenger 2009 Final (Windows version only) or higher||Windows & Mac all versions below:
Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, aMSN, Pidgin, Digsby, Trillian (include Pro, Astro versions), Miranda IM, Meebo, Adium etc.
|IM group chat interface||Chat window shows member list, but does not show group picture, and after unfolding the display pictures you can see the online member list||Chat window shows group picture, and after opening the activity panel* you can see the member list, group rules and other information about the group||* Activity Panel opens manually|
|IM group chat maximum user capacity||20*||900||* Groups with up to 20 members can have group conversations using Windows Live Messenger|
|Group maximum user capacity||1000||900|
|Command support in Chat||No||Yes|
|Create groups||Unlimited & Free||Unlimited & Free*||* Customized group account fee|
|How to create groups||Both Windows Live Messenger Client & Web||Both Windows Live Messenger Client & Web*||* Groups.im has to install an add-on client “GIM” to add a “Create Groups.im group” button on messenger|
|Membership||Public, Restricted, Private||Public, Public Restricted, Private||Public: Anyone may join this group without the permission of Admin.
Public Restricted: Anyone can ask to join, but owner or administrators approve membership requests. (Groups.im offers setting a question and an answer here. If someone is trying to join the group, he has to answer the question to join.)
Private: By invitation only.
|Titles||Owner, Co-Owner, Member||CEO, Admin, Member|
|Photos||Yes. Photos stored in Skydrive space, max. 25GB storage||Yes. Unlimited storage space|
|SkyDrive||Yes. 25GB storage space||No|
|Customize||Group Picture, Group Message, Theme, Description… etc.||Group Picture, Description, Group Rules… etc.|
|What’s new in your groups?||Yes. Show on the Group page||Yes. Will notify in IM group chat|