They kept it secret for a while but now the whole world knows Google has released a new instant messaging (IM) and voice over Internet software product called Google Talk.
The software is clearly aimed at taking on all the various IM and VOIP players in the market including Skype, MSN, Yahoo and AOL and is hoping to leverage it’s already existing user base in Gmail, Google’s web based email service that Google Talk integrates with.
Will it be able to compete? I think yes of course, people will use this product and if Google pulls a Google, it may end up doing IM and VOIP better than any other company has – though it certainly has it’s work cut out for it given Skype’s tremendous lead in the voice category and MSN’s integration with the Windows operating system. Although I’m not certain Google Talk wants to compete as a full service Internet telephony product as Skype does. Time will tell how Google plans to differentiate its software and how this new service will help Google to meet their goal of Internet world domination.
Ever heard of too many options people! I hope this market consolidates soon…
Thanks to Will, Al, Andy and Benjamin for letting me know about this news.
Thanks to Matt from PlusOne Marketing for this:
The creators of Google Talk envision it breaking down the walls that exist between different instant messaging systems, which only let users chat with others in the same network.
“Google Talk is the first system that is open,” he said. “We are trying to move people to a different world.”
Google Talk will connect with Jabber and Trillian, software designed to act as a switchboard connecting users of different instant messaging services, according to Mr Harik.
Google is working on alliances with Zip Phone and Internet Service Provider Earthlink, along with Yahoo, America OnLine and Skype.
[ Full Article ]
Google knows what needs to be done – break down the walls so everyone can chat with everyone. Of course this may look like a ploy by Google to play catch up by having its software compatible with all the other IMs out there but, business competition issues aside, this is where IM and voice services need to go – a completely open platform for global communications by anyone with anyone.
An interesting aside – from a purely speculative intuitive perspective (my own) I feel that Skype will be happy to work with Google provided it creates benefits for both companies. Yahoo might take a little more work but may eventually partner up and open it’s IM software. Microsoft, for some reason, I don’t feel will want to work with Google on this one and will keep it’s software locked up for its network only. Can we take that as a good indication of the public perception of the “attitude” of the companies behind the products? (I am afterall, a member of the public.) Probably not, but like I said we are talking about “feelings” here…