iChat Apple is integrating a middleware IM platfrom called iChat into OS X.2. It "seamlessly" interconnects with Mac.com members, AOL members and AOL Instant Messenger (AIM). Why is Apple investing in a closed, proprietary platfrom when perfectly good open source alternatives exist? Because of AOL. AOL has the largest chat community, and that has to be attractive to Apple. Also, Apple is something AOL can beat on Microsoft with, and that has to be attractive to AOL.