Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Google Talk

Earlier this month, Google introduced Google Talk which includes an IM network and client. Key features include: The network uses the XMPP protocol and can be accessed from the Google Talk client as well as other XMPP clients (e.g. GAIM, Trillian Pro). Key features of the Google Talk client include:
  • Win32 support
  • Small footprint (<1mb)
  • Voice support (via XMPP protocol)
  • Simple, efficient user interface

The Google Talk client lacks many features of other IM clients such as:

  • No n-way chat capability
  • No emoticons
  • No chat logging
  • No skins

That said the client shows promise. It's voice chat capability is particulary impressive with full duplex support. Testing with a high-speed cable and the speaker and microphone built into my Thinkpad, I found the voice quality superior to Skype, AIM and Yahoo.

In the future, Google is promising SIP and multiplatform support, among other new features. Given Google's success in the marketplace with Desktop Search, Picasa, Blogger among others, I wouldn't bet against them.

Additional technical details on Google Talk can be found here

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