“Google Inc. plans to launch a long-rumored program Wednesday that provides both text instant messaging and computer-to-computer voice chat,” Matthew Fordahl reports for The Associated Press. “The new program, Google Talk, will compete against similar free services offered for several years by America Online Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc. All are vying to increase their presence on PCs to boost online ad revenue and name recognition.”
“As a newcomer to messaging, Google could face an uphill battle. AOL’s messaging program has about 41.6 million U.S. users, followed by Yahoo Messenger with 19.1 million and MSN Messenger with 14.1 million, according to ComScore Media Metrix’s July report,” Fordahl reports. “Users of those services are unlikely to switch unless the friends and colleagues on their ‘buddy lists’ do the same. The top instant messaging services still do not communicate with each other, though promises of such ‘interoperability’ have been made for years.”
“Google based its software on open standards, so it will work with smaller networks that are based on the same technology. Text messages can be exchanged with users of Apple Computer Inc.’s iChat, Cerulean Studios’ Trillian and the open-source Gaim program,” Fordahl reports. “Google Talk, which is being released in a beta test version, works only on PCs running Windows 2000 and Windows XP. Eventually, the company plans to release a version for Apple’s Mac OS X. Google Talk also requires users to have an account with the company’s free Gmail e-mail system.”
Full article here.
More info, screen shots, and download link (Windows XP/2000-only) here.
Mac and Linux users can connect to Google Talk using other IM clients. More info here.
Related MacDailyNews articles:
Report: Google plans IM system, expected to work with Apple’s iChat AV – August 23, 2005