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<br /> <b>Strict Standards</b>: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method unfancy_quote::strip_quotes() should not be called statically in <b>/home/martingo/martingordon.org/blog/wp-includes/plugin.php</b> on line <b>166</b><br /> Martin Gordon's Blog <br /> <b>Strict Standards</b>: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method unfancy_quote::strip_quotes() should not be called statically in <b>/home/martingo/martingordon.org/blog/wp-includes/plugin.php</b> on line <b>166</b><br /> / Google Talk[s] - Is anyone listening?

Google Talk[s] - Is anyone listening?

Google's latest foray into world domination has them tackling AOL, Microsoft and Yahoo in the Instant Messaging arena. Google Talk is currently only a Windows-only application but any Jabber client will do. I've been signed on to talk.google.com using Adium for since yesterday and had a short conversation on it.

For myself and for other advanced users (who don't use first-party clients), using GTalk will be seemless because most third-party party clients already include Jabber support. For the millions of first-party client users, however, I see very little reason to run a seperate IM client just to say they're running GTalk. For one, getting a GMail account, while easier than before, is still much harder to get than an AOL, MSN or Yahoo account because it requires an invitation from a friend or knowing about invitation-collecting sites that give them out.

So for people like me, we can either use our AIM/MSN/Yahoo accounts from a single client to talk to people who are using those services with first-party clients. For our "advanced" friends who are running multi-protocol cleints, there is no reason why we can't use any of the existing services to communicate with them.

I also don't see the VoIP feature driving many people to GTalk either. For one, all the other big clients have a voice chat feature, and at least in my experience, they haven't seen much use. More importantly, there's the Skype issue. Say what you will about the validity of Skype's 152 million downloads number, there's no question that a lot of people are using Skype. With so many people using Skype and being perfectly happy with it, why would anyone want to run another client for VoIP? You run into the installed base problem again. Skype has a huge installed base, so when Joe User wants to hop on the VoIP bandwagon, he'll jump onto whatever protocol his friends are using — and that protocol will most likely be Skype. Skype's killer feature, in my opinion, is its SkypeIn and SkypeOut services, which lets a computer dial a phone number and give a phone number to a computer. At the moment, GTalk's VoIP is limited to the GTalk network only, a much smaller network than say, the world's plain old telephone network that SkypeIn/Out give Skype users access to (for a fee).

With regard to Google Talk's current feature set, color me unimpressed. It just seems a bit too bare to pose a serious threat to AIM/MSN/Yahoo and Skype and it makes me wonder why they're even bothering. Yes, it will probably be a huge success, but is it because it's Google, or is it because GTalk is a superior product? Is it because we feel safer lying in Google's pristine white home page than in the arms of AOL's running man?

Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of Google and their products (even though they're all Windows-only), but once you see past the hype and the "Google can do no evil" mantra, Google Talk sounds more like Google Yawn.

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Comments (2) left to “Google Talk[s] - Is anyone listening?”

  1. Tiennou wrote:

    No, it will be a big success because it uses open standards so many third parties will eventually join, the user base will grow and closed networks will die. Of course, it will require some time before it is effective :-)

    Google is just the initiator of an open network similar to the SMTP one. Wait and see

  2. Ryan Wick wrote:

    I look at this release as more of a "first look" and I'm happy with where Google is headed. Even if it's years or months before this matures and gets heavily used, Google is keeping things open and working with the community.

    And I mostly posted this to say that Gmail is no longer invite only. To get a new account without one though, you have to have a (currently) US-based mobile phone for authorization purposes. http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2005/08/sign-up-for-gmail.html