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Google Talk

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Yesterday I read about Google's new desktop search, and today media sources are reporting that Google is about to go live with a new IM service, Google Talk, which will apparently be a direct competitor with companies like Skype.

 

In any case, Google hasn't confirmed the announcment, but I went to the following URL: talk.google.com, and it is a valid subdomain, but the target folder is missing. Compare that error message to a random (thus probably non-existent) subdomain like wonderful.google.com, and you'll see what I mean.

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My understanding, and it may be incorrect, is that Google is going to do an IM such as MS Instant Messenger, AOL's AIM, Yahoo IM, etc. It's not the same thing as Skype which is voice over IP.

 

They seem to be trying to create all the tools necessary to have everything that Yahoo!, AOL, MSN, etc have only better and then combine that with the popularity of Google so they can be THE place everyone goes for everything.

 

By the way, if you ignore those fearful of the evil side of the desktop tool, it's pretty neat.. it brings in news, email (Outlook and Gmail in my case), weather, stocks, sticky notes, etc. and seems to be designed for additional plug ins. I've not looked at it much but it's pretty cool to have everything in one place.

 

My boss asked me about an old email he sent me months ago and I went to the search box, entered the topic and *POOF* here was a Google search engine-looking results page with all the emails and files from the hard drive relating to that term.

 

If they can address the privacy concerns I think they have a real shot at blowing the other guys out of the water.

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The story said this:

If confirmed, the combined computer text and voice-calling service would put Google in competition with a similar service pioneered by Skype, which has attracted tens of millions of users, especially in Europe, to its own service.

 

Separately, independent journalist Om Malik on his blog at http://gigaom.com/ pointed to technical clues that suggest Google is preparing to run an instant messaging service based on an open-source system known as Jabber.

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My understanding, and it may be incorrect, is that Google is going to do an IM such as MS Instant Messenger, AOL's AIM, Yahoo IM, etc.  It's not the same thing as Skype which is voice over IP.

Yahoo's latest messenger, 7, now does PC to PC phone calls.

Free Worldwide PC-to-PC Calls*

 

All you need is a headset, or a microphone and speakers. It's that easy - just click the Call button.

In fact Yahoo has had voice for a long time and all the other networks now support voice as well. Whats the difference between using Skype to talk to another person over the internet and using a messenger? Nothing as far as I can see.

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Whats the difference between using Skype to talk to another person over the internet and using a messenger? Nothing as far as I can see.

SkypeIn and SkypeOut? :)

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The story said this:
Not the one I read :) I had read an article before this post and didn't follow Abinidi's link.

 

In fact Yahoo has had voice for a long time and all the other networks now support voice as well. Whats the difference between using Skype to talk to another person over the internet and using a messenger? Nothing as far as I can see.

 

I just saw another article that says:

Voice services tied to instant messaging are more limited than voice-over-internet protocol (or VOIP) services like those of Skype, since they only let users communicate with others who are on the same messaging network and do not link to the public telecommunications system.

 

Hey Mom, I want to talk to you for free so sign up for this great new service from Google so they can make more money from advertising to us as we talk. hmmm.

 

Google certainly is building an empire though. I just realized today that if you put into Google Search "weather key west, fl" the top section has a little 4 day forecast and a summary of current conditions on the left - and that's exactly what the desktop shows in their weather block. These guys do seem to have a good planning team and are implementing it pretty well. It will be interesting to see where it ends up.

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I highly doubt that skype lets you make PC to landline calls for free except maybe in the states and Yahoo did that years ago back in 2000.

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Google Talk is available. I'm at work so I can't try it until I get back to my hotel room tonight (I'm working out of Tempe, AZ this week). http://talk.google.com/ someone post a review if you get the chance.

 

EDIT: Google Talk requires a gmail account. If you've been living under a rock and don't yet have one, I'll be happy to send you one of my 50 invites. Just let me know.

Edited by cajunman4life

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I highly doubt that skype lets you make PC to landline calls for free
... and you are correct, but you can, for a small fee, make PC to landline calls to people who are not signed up with Skype. I could call, for example, the local pizza delivery guys for $0.02/minute (I think) and they don't have to even know what Skype is. Not so, apparently, with the google thing... at least until they get their infrastructure worked out and then it may be an offering they make.

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Well Yahoo does also offer PC to landline but at a cost as well as SMS messaging, again at a cost.

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hey guys....downloaded and installed google talk.

 

Interface looks a lot like AIM, but less cluttered (standard google). Anyways, I haven't had a chance to test the talking functionality because I am sans microphone/speakers at work.

 

The only limitation I see right now is you can't instant message with just anyone that hasn't seen/received your invitation. But i'm sure this is just a control to test it.

 

As one of my friends said, "I bet you can round up all the geeks around the world by seeing who has downloaded and installed this app before noon today". I'm afraid we both fall in this category...hehe.

 

Sam

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For those who can't get to it at work, here's a mini-review you may be able to see.

www.downloadsquad.com/2005/08/23/googe-talk-review/1

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A thought just came to mind. Let's say I signed up for xyz@gmail.com before and loaded gtalk today. When I created it I don't recall an option for an alias - it asked for my google account which is my email name.

 

Now, if I say out here in a public forum to contact me at XYZ via Gtalk then have I just given my email to clever spammers? Not a good thing.

 

Oh well, just a thought. Having all our eggs in one basket could be a bit risky.

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I'm eager to try this. Anyone who wants to take part in my test, add me to your list and start talking. Gmail addy is my username here on the TCH forums.

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I was playing with it with a programmer I know. It's very basic at present. Plain text messaging with no formatting except it turns certain smiley codes blue but no smileys. Voice is clear but apart from Mute you have no control over it. The thing about Google is they make sure they have a solid base to build from before they move onto the next steps.

 

Google is apparently in talk with other messengers such as Yahoo and AIM about interoperability of voice. Not that Skype are running scared but Skype is said to be releasing it's IM code (a lesser known feature of Skype) to businesses to incorporate into their sites/software.

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If you put *s around a word, it turns it bold: thus *bold* would render bold. And _s around a word turn it italics: thus _italics_ would render italics. So there is SOME (albeit very limited) formatting.

 

My Google username is my first and last names put together with no space (see my sig line).

 

I'm at work, but would chat for a few minutes with somebody if they wanted.

 

And I really like the program and interface. I blogged about it here if you are interested.

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Personally I prefer IM's to voice as I sound more intelligent when I'm typing. Always nice to be able to stop, read what you put then change it unlike speech where once it's out it's out.

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Yes, I agree. In any case, I don't have a microphone on my work computer, so I haven't done any voice chatting yet. Just text chatting.

 

And I have to say, my favorite part of the Google Talk interface is how clean it is. I think it will be the IM of choice at my work (we have been using AIM), because of how clean it is. No extra buttons. No advertisements. You can make the window small and it is still useful.

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No extra buttons. No advertisements.

Trillian doesn't have extra buttons or advertisments and connects to AIM, Yahoo, MSN and ICQ.

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Yes but then Trillian does not support Google Talk voice yet ;) That and you have to pay to actually use the voice/plugin features of Trillian and I believe that you can only use Jabber as a plugin. Still if AIM and Yahoo both agree to use interoperable voice with Google then it could be the start of the long rumoured interoperaability. For those that don't know the American goverment doing it's usual WE RULE THE WORLD routine told the major IM makers that their clients need to be interoperable with each other. This is why if you ever read the registry for Yahoo messenger you see some references to AIM. I don't know if this order from on high is still in effect as it was a few years ago that this rumour came to my ears.

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Trillian doesn't have extra buttons or advertisments and connects to AIM, Yahoo, MSN and ICQ.

 

Yes, but to get the full functionality of each service (IE typing indicators for AIM, HTML display also for AIM (notably profiles), etc.) you need to pay for the pro version. GAIM is free, but not quite as "polished" as trillian. I'm watching with anticipation how Google Talk will evolve.

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There is a plethora of multiple messenger programs out there (Trillian, Gaim, Miranda, Beenut, IM2 etc) and most support Jabber. Whilst this means you can connect and send IM's to your friends on the Google Talk network you will not be able to use voice with them as nobody else is using the voice protocol that Google is using.

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I use skype a little, but since most everyone I know has gmail I thought I too would try google talk.

 

You can find my google talk user name on my profile page, it's my real name and you will find it under one of the IM's there.

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I predict Google Talk will get an initial Gee Whiz boost out of the door but will fall off soon after. The thing is that everyone has to get all their buddies to download it and redo the buddy lists and stuff and right now there's little incentive. Skype rules voice at this time and many ppl prefer typing so until Google can answer the question "If I don't want voice, why should I switch?" question they will be struggling.

 

That said, I don't think it will take long to get the bells and whistles going. Looking at Google's past I'd say they are finding ways to incorporate search, desktop, email, weather, and a bazillion other things into the IM client so it's a one-stop shop for the services people are using.

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That said, I don't think it will take long to get the bells and whistles going.  Looking at Google's past I'd say they are finding ways to incorporate search, desktop, email, weather, and a bazillion other things into the IM client so it's a one-stop shop for the services people are using.

Take a look at the other messengers. They already incorporate most of these and to be honest does anyone ever use them? Yahoo even has a internet radio built into it. Th emain advantage Google has over Skype and the others is that it is using open source protocols. If you take a look at the Jabber protocol there is already a plethora of programs out there that use it because there is little hard work involved unlike Yahoo and MSN where you have to figure out how the protocol works.

 

So the question is this. If Google is intending on putting adverts etc into Gtalk why would it use open source protocols therefore guaranteeing that people will write programs that can connect to Gtalk?

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You're right in that the others have them and people probably don't use them much. I just see Google trying to be the web version of Microsoft Windows - sold on every PC and along with Office can do anything you ever wanted to do (so they say).

 

I invision Google in another 3-5 years, unless they blow up or something, being the tool everyone uses. Just look at their Desktop product, it incorporates gmail, local mail such as outlook, RSS news feeds, Stock ticker stuff, weather, and the search which in itself is a "hyper application" that does the web, local files, emails, etc. I just see this as the first view of yet another "plugin" to their "Complete Experience" product.

 

As for open source, it makes it really hard to advertise if they do it that way. ;)

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Kudos to Google though. They know that to make money they have to get their name and adverts to as wide an audience as possible. But instead of the usual routes they seem to have sat down and thought about what people actually want. They also make sure their products are stable and solid. BUT at the same time (with Gmail and Gtalk anyway) they have made it so you don't have to see their adverts or use their program to benefit from their products. You can use Gmail with any POP/SMTP client and any messenger with Jabber support can connect to Gtalk (although none support voice yet but I'd say give it a week).

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I have tried Google talk but it currently lacks a few features such as file transfer, emoticons, etc.

 

For now I will only use Google talk at home but for our office, I will still use the Akeni Enterprise Instant Messaging program and also regular jabber client.

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Welcome to the forum, dj2000!

 

After two weeks of using Google Talk, I'll have to say I'm disappointed. I ended up having to re-install my Gmail notifier, and I had to disable the email notifier in Google Talk.

 

Why? Because for whatever reason, my Google Talk Gmail notifier unregistered gmail as my primary email, but it didn't re-register gmail as my primary email. So whenever I would click on ANY mailto link, nothing happened. When I got notified of a new message, I couldn't click on the message icon to open Gmail.

 

Also, I never got the Account Settings button in the General area to do anything. I uninstalled Google Talk, and reinstalled it, but none of the above mentioned problems were fixed.

 

So, now I'm using a hybrid of Google Talk and Gmail notifier. I submitted a bug report to Google, but I haven't heard back from them.

 

I am still a fan of the clean UI, and Google Talk has some nifty features that I do like. We'll see if they can fix some of the problems that I've encountered before I give it two thumbs up.

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As I have stated earlier Gtalk is BETA. Google wish to make sure the foundations are solid before adding things like emoticons, filetransfer etc which to me makes good coding sense.

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