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Thread: Google Launches Google Talk

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    Google Launches Google Talk

    As speculated, Google Talk, the IM/VoIP service from Google has arrived. Following David's heads-up on the launch, I've added some initial thoughts on Google Talk. Of course, I encourage you to check it out for yourself, and let us know what you think!
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    What I think? Monopolistic !

    You know google will give a good service tho
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    Senior Member ajbrun's Avatar
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    Problem is though that no one has it, so I'd probably only change if everyone changes, and that unlikely to happen imo. Although if SOME people decide to change I'm sure I could always use a multi-network client thingey instead...

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    I've had a quick play... it's a very simple client indeed, but is severely lacking in features. It doesn't even have smilies! A large portion of Yahoo and MSN Messenger users use the personable aspects of the interfaces, such as smileys, themes and the MSN Spaces thing - Google will have to pull their socks up quick with this, it's more like a technology demonstration rather than a full blown client.

    It needs robust file transfer, encryption, smilies, video support (h.264 would be fantastic - like iChat), a plugin system would be good (something with the ease of use of Mozilla Extensions would be great), an MSI package for enterprise deployment, Skype like VoIP facilities... the list goes on. It's interesting to see a new instant messenger but where's the google boom factor?

    You could argue that it's beta but Google News has been beta for years now, so hopefully they'll elegantly add the features most people require, or at least have a system to easily plug-in more feature. I think the current client would be great as a skeleton (except better encryption should be added) with a extensions service online.

    One other big issue is the complete lack of interoperability with other networks - I hope it picks up, but there's not enough compelling reason to do so, with the average user being ignorant to client-server / single-vendor politics.

    Another is people in general don't understand how Jabber works and how Google is limiting the trust relationships it has with other Jabber servers to limit instant messenger spam. I suppose this is good to an extent, but it does lock out smaller servers (imagine only having a limited choice of who provides your e-mail service?).

    It's a reasonable start, but I really hope it gets a lot better quickly. They're getting a lot of press for something that is really too basic.

    Ruairi

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    it's worth pointing out that whilst google talk itself might lack some interoperability features, many Jabber servers have them - so by using a different Jabber client with a suitably enabled server, you can talk to people on Talk, or MSN, Yahoo, whatever.

    look for gold stars in the columns of your choice at http://www.jabber.org/network/

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    Wow, Google really is expanding a lot faster than I thought. From such a simple idea they are gaining a monopoly of the web.
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    I've only had a quick look at that site, but isn't jabber just an multi-network client that enables you to talk to people on yahoo, MSN etc etc? What the difference between that and gaim?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ajbrun
    I've only had a quick look at that site, but isn't jabber just an multi-network client that enables you to talk to people on yahoo, MSN etc etc? What the difference between that and gaim?
    jabber's a multi-network SERVER.

    the basic jabber protocol is what Google Talk uses, and the design of Jabber makes it very simple to add all sorts of things on top.

    And, as it happens, i use GAIM as a jabber client (directhex@jabber.earth.li)

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    Jabber is a protocol for instant messaging, a bit like POP3/IMAP and SMTP is for E-mail.

    From the users perpsective you need a Jabber client, like Google Talk or Gaim - from there you log on to a server of your choice (although Google only does their own for the moment), register your details and log in.

    Server side, MSN and Yahoo have their own behind-closed-doors server software which manages who is online, contact lists etc. Jabber has a number of different choices for serving, all with different facilities, some commercial and some open source.

    The difference between MSN/Yahoo and Jabber essentially is that with MSN/Yahoo/etc you are locked in (generally) to a specific client program, and almost definitely locked into a specific server. With this level of control, MSN can add on features at will, lock out older clients and force anything upon usesrs as they wish.

    Google Talk uses an industry standard for instant messaging which enables interoperability, so you can choose what client you use to access their server.

    It does get slightly complicated because as yet the client only offers connection to Google Talk's server, and I'm yet to find out how well it works with any-old-Jabber server (from a client to client perspective). I'm sure all my concerns will be addressed soon though!

    Hope this helps. I'm very tired though!

    Ruairi

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    I've been using Trillian for the past 3 years and to be honest can't see myself using anything else. Its a multi-client IM system (MSN,AIM, ICQ, Y!) and also has IRC. It accepts all sorts of useful plugins and has an SDK for those so inclined to write their own.

    I can see the integrated VoIP in G-Talk as a plus, but then I read on the BBC:
    Similarly, its net telephone service currently works only with Google's Desktop Search program.
    So personally, I'd give it at least 3 months to mature...

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    Doesn't work only with trhe Desktop search.

    Just did a call to a mate with just Gtalk.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NuShuttle
    I've been using Trillian for the past 3 years and to be honest can't see myself using anything else. Its a multi-client IM system (MSN,AIM, ICQ, Y!) and also has IRC. It accepts all sorts of useful plugins and has an SDK for those so inclined to write their own.
    so follow the instructions on talk.google.com on using trillian as your jabber client

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    I get the impression that currently Google Talk is a little behind the times. After all, if they supported connecting to existing users of lots of other networks, they'd have some kind of selling point over Yahoo and MSN.
    Currently, though, it loses out in almost any comparison with the likes of MSN Messenger. After all, on the IM side you've got just text, not support for smilies.
    On the voice side it's comparable to MSN, and way behind full some SIP-based VoIP services like Sipgate.co.uk (which gives you a free local UK telephone number for people to call you on as well as being able to receive calls from other users, plus has interoperability with other SIP networks), and behind the likes of Skype in conference calling, public telephone network calling, voicemail and other useful features.
    Plus it doesn't have options like Video Conferencing as MSN does.

    All in all, I can't help but wonder why anyone should be getting excited about it. It's using a proprietary voice protocol, rather than SIP or IAX, which are well-established open protocols, it has very limited functionality, and there's been a free product around for years which offers everything it can currently do and more... to think I saw the Metro newspaper saying experts were getting excited about it... why?

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    I quite like Google Talk even though it is no-way near as good as MSN - Google's
    'Gmail' is far better than 'Hotmail' though.

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    Agreed, Microsoft owns Google on the VoIP front, but Google owns Microsoft for free webmail... then again Gmail is relatively stripped down in its interface, so there are similarities in the different ways that the 2 companies have approached both problems, don't you think?
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    no, google doesnt 'own' microsoft on free webmail. their service may be better in your eyes, but if you look at the number of customers each company has, i think you'll see ms are a fair way ahead
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