Businessweek: Georges Harik, Google’s director of product management, says the company has opened communications with AOL and Yahoo, offering them interoperability on the Google Talk network free, and it will soon contact Microsoft. It remains to be seen whether these big players, especially AOL, which runs both its AOL Instant Messenger service and the globally popular ICQ service, will take Google up on its offer.
“WE’RE WORKING ON IT.” “Our network will be open. We want to make all instant messaging networks interoperable,” Harik says. Users of other IM clients would be able to connect friends to Google Talk just by adding their Gmail user names. No agreements have been struck yet. “We don’t know what their reaction will be,” Harik says.
Oh really? I mean, really!!!?
This issue has been a hot potato for, what, five years? And Google is claiming to not know what happens when you poke a stick into a beehive? Please!
SEW: The entry sees Google directly competing against the much more mature clients and established user bases of competitors Yahoo and MSN, not to mention its own partner AOL. The move also opens Google up to accusations that it is way off its mission of “to organize the world’s information.” Heck, Google Talk doesn’t even feature a box to let you search for things, as rival products from AOL, MSN and Yahoo do.
Of course, the failure to launch an instant messaging product would leave Google at a competitive disadvantage. In the end, while the company may not like the P word, but a portal Google effectively is.
Downloadsquad review: Another big feature they’re working on is “joint search,” which would allow two or more Google Talk buddies using Google and surfing the web together. This would be a natural segue to the fabled Google Browser, but there is as yet no confirmation from Google.
Google also tells us that they don’t yet have solid plans on making money with the service, but plan on using it to drive users to Gmail.
Slashdot – nearly 700 comments so far.
Press release is in the extended entry.
Update: Of course, readers remind me, Mac folk can use this via a Jabber app like iChat….
GOOGLE LAUNCHES OPEN, INSTANT COMMUNICATIONS SERVICE
Google Talk Enables Free Calling and IM for Gmail Users
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – August 24, 2005 – Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) today
launched Google Talk, a downloadable Windows application from Google that
enables Gmail users to quickly and easily talk or IM with their friends for
free. Google is focused on developing innovative technologies that enhance
people’s lives, and Google Talk encourages and simplifies instant
communication across the web.
“At Google, we’re continually investing in areas where we can make
technological change, and we recognize the importance of efficient instant
communications and information exchange,” said Georges Harik, director,
Product Management, Google Inc. “Google Talk further enriches our users’
communications experience, whether they choose to communicate via email, IM,
or a call.”
Google Talk was developed to make it faster and easier for people to connect
to the information they need. Key features include:
. Superior voice quality through just a computer microphone and
. Simple and intuitive user interface – no clutter, pop-ups or ads
. Shared Gmail contacts list so there’s no need to maintain different
Gmail users can download Google Talk by visiting
http://www.google.com/talk/. Once they download the application, they can
begin inviting others by clicking “Add friend” from the Google Talk
interface. Those invited to Google Talk will also receive a free Gmail
account, if they do not currently have one.
Open Communications Model
Google believes that users should have a choice in what applications they
use for communication. Built to support industry standards, Google Talk
enables Google users to connect to the Google Talk service and exchange IMs
using any client that does the same, including Trillian, Adium, iChat, GAIM,
The company is also committed to working with other service providers to
create a federation model that enables users on any member network to talk
to users on any other member network in a secure and abuse-free manner.
Google is currently working with EarthLink to federate with their Vling
communications service and with Sipphone on federating their Gizmo Project.
Greater Availability of Gmail
Google Talk requires a Gmail username and password, and starting today,
Google is making it easier for anyone in the U.S. with access to a mobile
phone to sign up for a Gmail account. When users visit http://gmail.com and
enter their mobile phone number, they will receive an invitation code via a
text message. This code enables them to open an account. With a Gmail
account, users can try both Gmail and Google Talk, and begin inviting their
friends and family to talk with them for free over email, IM or a voice
About Google Inc.
Google’s innovative search technologies connect millions of people around
the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D.
students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in
all major global markets. Google’s targeted advertising program provides
businesses of all sizes with measurable results, while enhancing the overall
web experience for users. Google is headquartered in Silicon Valley with
offices throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia. For more information,