Again, the first time something meaningful and direct about Google “Talk” (I have to put in inverted commas because it really is a joke calling it that) comes from ZDNet – http://blogs.zdnet.com/open-source/?p=419%E2%88%. Most of the press have been singing it’s praises, but I actually shouted at the TV news when they started harping on about it last week.
There’s nothing new or special about Google “Talk”, and really, it’s Google Chat, not “Talk”. They bought out an Instant Messaging company months ago, so it’s not exactly out of the blue. It’s not replacing your normal telephone, it’s an instant messaging client with voice capabilites. Hell, this has been around for 6 years or more. MSN and Yahoo!, the two main competitors, along with AOL for Stateside-users, have also had webcam facilities for 4+ years, so there really is nothing special about Google’s IM offering. It’s actually a backward step 6 years into the past in terms of functionality.
Jabber is nothing special either, though they boast this makes their standards open. And? If that’s the case, why a Microsoft-only client direct from themsevles? Okay, so an open-source IM client on other OS’ will connect in, but you can also connect into the other major IM services with open-source clients. Nothing remarkable there then.
To be honest, I don’t know that many people using Gmail as their primary e-mail system that don’t already have a Hotmail and/or Yahoo! account and running the IM services from those two providers. Of those that are running Gmail, how many have said they’re gonna use Google “Talk”? None. Says a lot when your existing users aren’t interested in your service…