Google launches Google Talk; Skype gets aggressive

Since last year we have seen rumors about Google getting into the IM space and into the VOIP space. Today Google launched Google Talk,
(here’s a news story)
an instant messaging client that incorporates voice as well. I searched
Google for “Google Talk” and I went to talk.google.com (just a guess)
and couldn’t find anything. (They haven’t pre-programmed their own
index for this launch–I wonder how long it will take for them to be #1
on the search “google talk”). But a blogger pointed me to
www.google.com/talk, so I was able to download the client to try it
out.

You have to have a gmail account to use Google Talk, and Google has now
opened up gmail to any comer (it has been by invitation only up until
now.) It surprises me a bit that Google requires a Gmail account to use
Google Talk. On the other hand, bloggers are already raving about how
Google Talk automatically connects you to all your Gmail contacts, so
maybe it was a smart thing to do.

Skype announced that it will more easily integrate with software applications and web sites.

So the plot thickens, and free basic telecommunications for everyone worldwide is one step closer to being a reality.

6 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    “free basic telecommunications for everyone worldwide is one step closer to being a reality”
    Yup. Just forget about the six billion people without a PC and internet connection, let alone a Gmail account.

  2. It is certainly upsetting to think about the billions of people who are living in places where a warm bed, let alone internet access, may never be a reality. We should all be aware of those who are less fortunate and do everything we can to share the fruits of our relative ease with them.

    However, I think it is still okay for us to enjoy this “baby step” towards a better world. Google Talk probably won’t put food directly into the mouths of children in Niger, but it may mean that an exchange student in the U.S. will be able to speak to her family overseas more often. Little things like that add up to make a big difference for people.

  3. A little too much Google love on this blog. Its time we started to look at Google the same way we view Microsoft: with much reservation.

  4. The post above isn’t simply “Google love,” Yo. It’s technology love, as well as a response to the anonymous commment that preceeded mine. I’m all about any technology that can change the world, even if it is produced by a company that is already dominating the tech industry. We shouldn’t allow our “big brother” complexes to keep us from adopting new applications that inspire competition and improve our lives. As soon as Google starts producing crummy products, or using Microsoft’s monopolistic “toll booth” strategies, I will start to view them with “much reservation.” Until then, why not enjoy their creations?

  5. Jordan Gunderson

    This is also a huge step for open source. One of our UVLUG (http://uvlug.org) members pointed out that “With google backing Jabber you may one day be able to drop all of your other IM accounts when the other players realize there is more to be gained then lost with an open protocol.”

    Check this out from the Google Talk FAQ:

    16) Can you tell me more about Google Talk’s commitment to open
    standards and user choice?

    “We believe that you should have a choice in how you communicate with your friends, that you shouldn’t have to use one service because that’s where you keep your contacts and other information. We launched free auto-forwarding and POP access for Gmail so our users could take their messages with them and use any service they want, and we’re committed to upholding this idea of user choice for Google Talk as well. Today, with instant communications, you can’t talk to your contacts or buddies in one service while using another service. We hope to change that. We want to work with other willing service providers to enable their users to communicate directly with Google Talk users. And while we hope many people will use and like the Google Talk client, we’re committed to making it as easy as possible for you to communicate with your friends
    using the client that you want–even if it doesn’t happen to be ours. That’s why we’re also supporting open standards and the same protocol that clients such as Trillian, GAIM and iChat do. For more details, please visit our FAQ for developers.” (http://www.google.com/talk/developer.html)

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