As you can see, the Windows client is pretty basic, but functional. It is necessary to have a gmail account to sign up for the service – by invitation it sounds like. I just tried a voice call with my friend Dave, and was quite impressed by the sound quality. And since it picks up default devices, it is very easy to connect. The online help concerning the service is here, quite comprehensive for something that has just been released.
The client also acts as a Gmail notifier, which displays rather large popup messages when a new email arrives. This can be turned off by users who like me, pop their email out of Gmail.
The fact that they are using XMPP is notable since the non-interoperability of IM services has historically been a big pain in the b..t. I wonder if they will get into offering access to “the others” through back-end plugins, or if Trillian will be the stop-gap solution (which is a great stop-gap, even for the $25). And the reported interoperability "under way" with SIP signaling and the Gizmo Project is also worth noting.
As rumors that Skype’s growth is stalling develop, Google jumping in with both feet with a solution that looks more standard is not without consequence. Update: Skype just released a suite of IM APIs, so Google can only claim more standard, not more open - for now.
Competition is always good… even for making free phone calls. And thanks to my friend Adam, the co-founder of Truveo, for being the first one to send me an invite.
- SiliconBeat just published a long piece, including interviews from Googlers.
- Russ tells us more about Jabber and XMPP
- TechCrunch's Mike Arrington points us to the Wikipedia entry of Google Talk
- Dave McClure calls Skype "Dead Meat"
- SkypeJournal provides a detailed account of the functionality: available and missing ones
- Off topic, but the NYTimes has a "Google Baaaddd" article that is worth a read - from darlings to borgs - in one year