Google Talk

Google TalkThey 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…

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  • I’m sure they’ll pull it off! Competition is one of the best things a consumer can ask for, and with Google in the mix, it will surely cause huge rivalry in the internet cauldron! I’m sure new features will be added here, new sounds there etc. but I can see Google keeping things functional, but simple, which I love. 🙂

  • Jason

    Can I just have a search engine that return awesome results? Argh!

    That is one problem when a company goes public…they lose sight of their customers…after all when you are publicly traded you have a legal obligation to your shareholders to increase profits…regarless.

    I just want a company that is so inovative that it can take just search and make that profiotable.

    I hate google.

  • I guess the difference between skype and Gtalk is that skype is competing in the telephony area – with Skype in andSkypeOut (not that skypeout provides good enough sound for business computer->landline calls). Lets face it – voip is commonplace, from the crappy viopbuster that claims free computer to landline calls (don’t waste your time with it sound is shocking) to voice via MSN instant messenger (yahoo as well), plus I seem to remember that Microsoft IM has voice as well.

    All Google is doing is playing catchup.

  • I agree PlusOne. The IM client is very plain and boring, they haven’t done anything to beat other IM clients. I can see this client being used by Google Fanboys only 🙂 Pretty much me !

  • Google Talk Up

    Got this from Yaro (thanks for the graphic Yaro) … Google Talk is up and running, and it looks pretty cool. It’s not good enough (yet) to give Skype a run for it’s money, but it has a lot of potential along with 4 billion dollars to realize that po…

  • Hmm I downloaded it yesterday and had a play around. It doesn’t look very fancy, which I guess is good, but I stared at it for a while.. realized no one else I know uses it, and went back to MSN.

    We don’t really need another IM do we? Google is just trying to fill a gap in its line up, but about 5 years or so too late.

  • The idea of providing a link between the different IM’s is cool. I can’t be bothered signing up for them all so I just have Skype and now, GTalk. With this type of product, network effects are paramount. As Alborz said, if there are no other users, no one wants to use it. But if they can cross platform, that problem would be solved. Then it would be a very risky proposition indeed for one of the providers (e.g. Micro$oft) not to play nice because they could soon find themselves on the wrong end of the equation if it were Everyone Else vs Microsoft.

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