Other Shoe on Google Talk

It's here, it's Windows only (so far), and it's got folks talking (just not me, cuz I'm A Mac Guy.) And it comes with its own Adwords campaign, natch…. Businessweek: Georges Harik, Google's director of product management, says the company has opened communications with AOL and Yahoo, offering them…

GoogtalkadIt’s here, it’s Windows only (so far), and it’s got folks talking (just not me, cuz I’m A Mac Guy.) And it comes with its own Adwords campaign, natch….

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….

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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

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

contacts lists

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,

and Psi.

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,

visit www.google.com.


8 thoughts on “Other Shoe on Google Talk”

  1. About the AdSense campaign. As Y! Messenger has its own campaign, it would be curious how they interact.
    After all they have a competing product.
    And: would Google that its adds be surpassed by competitors?

  2. Mike T, thank you for calling a spade a spade!!

    When will the madness end? Yes, Google is an innovative company with some great products. Search, GMail, Maps, Earth. All great stuff that have benefited consumers and made the big Internet guys like Yahoo! and MSN much better companies. Competition is indeed a wonderful thing.

    But John, let’s please be honest about when Google releases a ho-hum product in the market. I follow your blog and generally think your posts are great, but the bias seems pretty clear on your blog and (even worse) in the rest of the press. You give Google lots of attention even when they don’t deserve it — and lot of other innovations from small and big companies get scant mention. Google releases a “Sidebar”. Wow!! Give me a break — MSFT and YHOO have had this for years (in the case of Yahoo!, at least for SBC Yahoo! users). Google releases IM w/ P2P voice. There is absolutely nothing innovative in this product, and yet we’re all supposed to waste time reading posts on it. If MSN or Yahoo! released such a silly product to compete with an existing Google product (for example, an inferior version of Google Earth), they would be skewered by the press and the entire blogosphere.

    Google doesn’t want to be “evil” perhaps, but they do want to be a portal. Now there’s an innovative idea. As far as I’m concerned, the shine sure does seem to be coming off the Google machine. But maybe next month it’ll shine once again when they invent…sliced bread!

  3. Thanks Fred, but did you read my post? I poked fun at their naive pose.I did not rave, I did not build Google up. Fact is, they’ve done that themeselves. They are the hands down search market leader, and that means what they do is important, at least to this site…

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