Google Talk looks interesting. It’s primarily a VoIP client like Skype and Gizmo, but also has a standard instant messaging mode. On the face of it, nothing special.
Where it stands out is that it integrates with Gmail (so all Gmail users already have a Google Talk account and their Gmail address book appears in their contact list), and that its chat function uses the open Jabber network so that users can talk to users of other clients like Gaim, Adium, iChat and Trillian Pro. Google actually advertises this as a feature.
That said, it’s Windows-only at the moment, and I haven’t yet been able to try it – especially as the university firewall seems to block Jabber traffic.
Update: Download Squad has a review. Key points:
- Dead simple interface, with good integration with Gmail
- “SIP support is coming soon and are in talks with Skype, AOL, and Yahoo! concerning interoperability.”
- Only a 900KB download
And allegedly iChat users can use voice chat with Google Talk users, so every Mac user with a recent copy of iChat is instantly on board. Funky.
Update II: Michael Robertson on Google Talk. Michael is one of the people behind Gizmo and SIPphone, and he’s pleased. He reckons this could see the beginning of greater interopability between IM and VoIP networks.