Google Talk Live, Functional

There’s been blog chatter all day about Google Talk. I didn’t write about it because I couldn’t use it (it hadn’t launched yet) and I certainly wasn’t “breaking” the story.

Not only that, it seems to me that Skype already has a quite nice and functional application to do this type of thing. And the fact that Google Talk had a wikipedia page up even before it launched made me sort of think things had gotten a little out of hand.

But I couldn’t resist, of course. The second the client was available for download I jumped to the site and took the plunge.

Google Talk works and it looks and sounds cool. It’s now the 15th IM client on my desktop – MSN, meetro, Yahoo, Skype, Gizmo, AIM, …

You don’t have to download Google’s software to use the service. You can use any Jabber/XMPP client. Cnet puts it well:

One advantage to Google Talk could be its ability to connect with users of competing services. Google Talk is based on the Jabber open-source standard, which allows consumers to connect with other messaging systems that work with Jabber, such as Apple Computer’s iChat, GAIM, Adium, Trillian Pro and Psi.

Google Talk has a nice interface, works quickly and is generally a great product.

Here’s the key features:

  • built to interoperate with other services
  • good voice quality
  • text IM works

Here’s what it lacks:

  • client only works for Windows (see mac options here)
  • no group chat
  • no video
  • no renaming of contacts
  • no “skype out, skype in, voicemail, etc.”
  • good integration with gmail

So try it out and feel free to add us (techcrunch is our username).

Keith Teare, my partner at Archimedes Ventures, is thinking that Google is very obviously dripping out features and products that Microsoft is including in Vista. He wrote to me, using Google Talk:

keith.teare: “It’s almost as if Google is implementing the features Microsoft has announced for Longhorn – Sidebar; voice calls inside IM, RSS integration – but doing it ahead of Microsoft, by about 12 months.

A Google layer between Users and the OS.

Rendering the OS a commodity

It reminds me of a post I did on my weblog about 18 months ago”

I agree with Keith 100% on this one (a first).

Additional Reading:

DownloadSquad (very nice review), Dwight Silverman, Scott Kingery, GMSV, Erick Schonfeld, Ben Barren (I love this blog – guess why), Om Malik