While the title is misleading, “Microsoft to keep track of instant messages” might be one of the biggest advancements in communication technology in a long while. Email gave us access to an archive of past communications, but having a record of all informal messaging is like a complete memory prosthesis. The thought of having a corpus of informal dialog like that makes a thousand simple projects spring to mind.
Of course the security implications are huge. I’m pretty sure I don’t want anyone to have access to the hundreds upon hundreds of “HI HONEY.” messages I get from my mom. Especially the ones where I reply, “mom.. i’m giving a talk. i’ll chat to you later.”