Ok - this is a bit of a myth that has taken on a life of its own.
The main transport in question here (from my point of view) is the MSN one. It had been running faithfully from the day Dreamhost installed it (a few years at least). It's now broken in the fact that it can no longer contact the MSN server for some reason. (I suspect a screwy Dreamhost DNS entry, but what would I know).
- As far as I can tell Microsoft have never changed the protocol to stop competing clients connecting to their systems (in fact they used to connect in the same way to the AIM servers in the early days)
- All the other Jabber servers I check have functioning MSN gateways. It is only the Dreamhost one that is broken. In fact I am using a 3rd party one now (when Dreamhost doesn't have problems routing my packets to Germany)
- I monitor the Jabber developer lists, and I did not see the usual flurry of emails that usually happen when one of the major IM providers change their protocols to break other clients (as far as I am aware this has only happened with AIM and Yahoo).
- The MSN and Yahoo gateways broke on the same day. It is very unlikely that both companies changed their protocols on the same day.
There is a faint, outside possibility that Microsoft noticed a bunch of IM spam coming from the Dreamhost IP address and blocked it assuming we were spammers. I doubt this has happened though because I could portping the MSN server from my shell account.
In summary, an upgraded transport would be nice (2 or 3 years back level is a bit much for any software on a hosted server) but we would be mostly happy with getting the existing one fixed. The fact that not many people appear to be using the transports may have something to do with the fact that they don't work.