It’s estimated that 90 percent of businesses already are engaging in some level of instant messaging.  That includes some 25 million U.S. business users who, according to The Yankee Group, are instant messaging on a public network without management’s knowledge or authorization. 
All across the country in offices large and small, unauthorized employees are downloading free consumer-grade IMsoftware from the three leading public network players—AOL InstantMessenger, Yahoo! Messenger, and MSN Messenger Service—directly onto their desktop computers at work.
The most avid instant messagers download every available IM product, or ‘‘client,’’ so they can communicate internally and externally with any other user, minus software compatibility concerns. Industry insiders estimate that 66 percent of active instant messagers have more than one client installed—and in use—on their desktop computers. 
Harry Wessel, ‘‘IM: Two Little Letters Equal a Big Help to Some Businesses,’’ Orlando Sentinel (June 25, 2003), G1.
Lisa Meyer, ‘‘IM Intrigues the Enterprise: VARs Tasked to Control Disparate Instant-Messaging Implementations,’’ Varbusiness (May 12, 2003), 62.
Telephone interview with Jonathan Christensen, CTO, Face-Time Communications (October 21, 2003), www.facetime.com.