As accurately predicted by several major news organizations yesterday, Google has not surprisingly unveiled “Google Talk, a voice and text instant messaging service. It’s a move that’s going to slowly and painfully drive a knife into the backs of industry rivals Yahoo and Microsoft.

Here’s how it all went down: Last night, the LA Times, among others, reported that Google was believed to be releasing a VOIP-like “talk service. Geeks and Nerds alike held celebration parties all around the country, and the mood was set.

Then, at 8:10 central standard time this morning, it hit. A message was sent out to the Google press group headlined, “Google Launches Open, Instant Communications Service. It had happened, and the world was in for some “corporatation-vs-corporaiton fireworks.

Back to the present: The press announcement outlines a new product loaded with features. Firstly, the application is completely integrated with “Google accounts, which if use Gmail, AdSense, AdWords, or other programs, you have. (My login to Google Talk is my Gmail account name.)

Anybody can download the product, but only registered Google account holders can use it. The interface is almost identical to any IM client, minus the advertisements and clutter, in traditional Google style.

A buddy list is present (painfully empty for me), as well as a link to my Gmail inbox. Since I’m not exactly a social butterfly, and don’t have any contacts, I’m not able to test out the voice communication feature. However, my assumption is that its identical to the system used by AIM, MSN, etc.

I truly look forward to seeing where this program takes Google. If I had to put my money on a route today, I’d bet that Google Talk will be integrated with Google Desktop 2, which will be integrated with Picasa and Blogger. It’s all going to remind of us of the failed “Passport program Microsoft is struggling with, minus all the clutter and confusion.

Its also going to be interesting to see what else Google has in store for us this week. In only two days, the company has already completely reshaped the IT community’s perspective of the company. ‘Tis amazing.

I broke down and downloaded google talk and google desktop last night out of curiousity. I believe I downloaded it hours before 8:10am CDT. You are right, when Google Desktop is in sidebar mode, Google Talk integrates with it.

Honestly though I don't really see this going anywhere. Google Talk offers nothing new. It is not at all inovative. Compare this with Gmail, which is quite different in its interface from the other web based email services. Just about everyone uses AIM, and those that don't use MSN, mostly because it comes with Windows. The market is saturated.

I really think Google is wrong to try to compete directly with Microsoft's online devision. Google should concentrate on what it does well, search, advertising, and things that relate to the two. Google Talk will go nowhere.

I'd not be surprised if you're going to see a next version of Google talk (and desktop) that integrate advertising.
Once they're used be a lot of people, those can be silently pushed into peoples' computers.
Write an IM, and the other side gets relevant ads to go with it as part of the message.
Voice recognition software can do the same for voice messages.
Search for something on your PC using Google desktop and get ads for related stuff intertwined with the search results (or instead of the search results if they're 'low priority'.

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