As a clarification to my previous post, I’m not against the development of a consumer-level alternative to the public IM networks out there. Jabber certainly has the potential to do that and really be a lot better than anything currently out there.
That said, it really bugs me that some people call Jabber a “failure” because we have not accomplished the aforementioned goal. Jabber has succeeded in ways that I never dreamed of, or even hoped for. If you look at the protocol landscape you’ll see lots of wreckage of dead (and dying) protocols — Jabber/XMPP is not one of them after 5+ years of work.
Now that is something.