Jon Simpson

Google Talk

24 Aug 2005 — google, IM

Ok, so Google Talk is the latest and greatest thing coming from the search behemoth. No doubt it’ll spark a share price rise, along with tense speculation of a Google entry into VOIP or anything else related to instant messaging or the service itself (as such hysteria has become commonplace surrounding the Mountain View based company). 10 days ago, I posted the following on Slashdot in a discussion about the speculation surrounding Google’s entry into IM.

A lot of people already have IM networks that they’re locked into because their friends/contacts are happy with that network and use it. In Europe, its extremely common for people to have MSN, whilst the trend stateside seems to be more toward AIM (with MSN still significant there too). Google could do better by adopting something like XMPP/Jabber and either using a client that supports MSN/AIM/ICQ protocols or the server-side protocol translation that Jabber supports. A solid Google IM client based on XMPP might be just what the standard needs to build profile (whilst still allowing easy adoption through MSN/AIM compatibility)

The released Google Talk approaches this ideal product. It’s a good windows jabber client (from what I’ve seen of it so far) and seems to be well thought out to meet basic instant messaging needs. It doesn’t currently offer the transport interoperability, but the Google Talk webpage talks significantly about creating a federation of carriers cooperating to make instant messaging/voice services work in unison. I’m optimistic that some of the more agnostic instant messaging players (Yahoo? AOL at a push?) could work with Google to start making this a reality. Their status as rivals may tend to lean towards a slightly different outlook however…

I can’t see anything wrong with this product offering per se, I’m a die hard Gmail user, and have found Google’s approach to e-mail extremely useful in helping me keep my inbox mobile & well managed. It offers good integration with Gmail, so the possibility of it spreading similarly to Gmail exists. However, it’s tied down by the current ties people have with their contact lists on existing services. If I could ditch MSN for Google Talk, I would, but given a decently sized contact list, that seems an unlikely proposition.

It will be interesting to see what happens with this service in the future, and whether Google really can pull off a significant market share in the Instant Messaging game…


Google is going to release a virtual-reality chimpanzee rendering API within days. There you go, I have just killed the virtual-reality chimpanzee rendering industry. Of course I’m being hypothetical, but why is something news, and even awe-inspiring, just because Google make it? No, I’m not an M$ plant (like their ‘Windows beats Linux’ study that the EU trading standards ppl are looking into!), I actually have Gmail, Gtalk etc., but people just need to calm the fk down!

David Russell, 15 Dec 2005