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Google Instant Messenger Coming Really (or Not?) 577

bach37 writes "Google is rumored to launch its own instant messenger tomorrow." Other sources are reporting that talk.google.com is running jabber. Of course we've also had stories about all this being rumors
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Google Instant Messenger Coming Really (or Not?)

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  • 180 degrees? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BlackCobra43 ( 596714 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @09:45AM (#13378891)
    Didn't Google explicitely claim they were not making an IM service?

    Why would they make one anyway? Doesn't really seem to fit with their current strategy unless they tie it into gmail somehow.
    • Re:180 degrees? (Score:5, Informative)

      by the_mighty_$ ( 726261 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @09:49AM (#13378926)
      • Re:180 degrees? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @10:42AM (#13379403)
        The Hello Instant Messaging client is included with Picasa which is owned by google.

        Cleverly it is used for picture sharing which avoids direct competition with the established IM clients.

        http://www.hello.com/ [hello.com]

        Posting only because I dont have mod points to push the parent post all the way up to 5
      • Wow, that's retarded.

        Hello is designed to let you send high-quality pictures instantly and securely over any speed connection, even dialup. With Hello, you can send hundreds of high quality pictures to your friends in just seconds--you can't do that with email.

        Damn, I hope they apply this to all files soon so people with dialup connections can download Gentoo instantly!!
    • Re:180 degrees? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Mr2cents ( 323101 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @09:56AM (#13378996)
      The error messages are different between http://ahjfgdf.google.com/ [google.com] and http://talk.google.com/ [google.com] , so there is something going on..
    • Re:180 degrees? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by the_mighty_$ ( 726261 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @09:57AM (#13379004)

      Doesn't really seem to fit with their current strategy unless they tie it into gmail somehow.

      Google's strategy is this: make as many people as possible click on their ads. Gmail was one extension of this idea. It let Google deliver ads not only when people were searching the Internet, but also when they read their emails. A Google IM service would do the same thing. Now Google would also be able to deliver ads when people were chatting.

      In fact, if I were Google, I would be working on Google Browser. Then they could deliver ads whenever someone was browsing the Internet!

      • by Moraelin ( 679338 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @10:02AM (#13379048) Journal
        "In fact, if I were Google, I would be working on Google Browser. Then they could deliver ads whenever someone was browsing the Internet!"

        You mean Opera [opera.com]? That's what it does. Serves Google ads as soon as you open the browser, and then for each page you visit.
    • Re:180 degrees? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by programic ( 139404 )
      Actually, it does fit in. They know what you search for. They know whats in your email. What if they knew what was in your IMs?

      Think of how valuable that information would be to a marketer.
    • Re:180 degrees? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by famebait ( 450028 )
      Why would they make one anyway? Doesn't really seem to fit with their current strategy

      Take a look at the sidebar that comes with the latest google desktop, and you'll see it fits like a charm.

      unless they tie it into gmail somehow.

      That would be a natural thnkg to do, yes. And the sidebar would make it a lot easier to do.

      Doesn't mean I necessarily believe they are doing this, but I hope so.
    • by kin_korn_karn ( 466864 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @10:13AM (#13379141) Homepage
      It would appear that they want to take over the internet by playing their "we're not Microsoft" card.

    • Re:180 degrees? (Score:4, Informative)

      by shokk ( 187512 ) <ernieoportoNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @11:47AM (#13380010) Homepage Journal
      Remember the rumors about Google getting into VOIP? Eweek is reporting that it will be a text and voice chat.
      http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1851272,00.as p?kc=EWRSS03119TX1K0000594 [eweek.com]
  • if it comes out... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mix_master_mike ( 540678 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @09:45AM (#13378892) Homepage
    It will have to tie into the new sidebar (update?) and will probably link to gmail accounts - which means that it could be BETA only? In any regard, I'm excited for it, pending its real.
    • by Iriel ( 810009 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @10:10AM (#13379117) Homepage
      Personally, I couldn't care less if it's only BETA. I've been using quite a large amount of beta probrams from Google and I've yet to be disappointed. As far as tie ins, here's my idea:

      The reason everything is still in beta is because Google wants to find out what their 'core' set of applications are going to be. Once they find the real crowd pleaser beta applications, they can work on a final release of each with features that integrate all of them.

      It may never happen, but I think an instant messenger service could be an interesting way to unite the applications, like drawing a map in a google earth and using it's GoogleChat plug-in to send the .gmp(some made-up google map file extension) file to your friend which is imported into a pullout window in their GoogleDeskbar that they've been using for chat.

      It's just an idea.
    • by XMyth ( 266414 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @10:21AM (#13379209) Homepage
      Wouldn't have to be an update to add it to the sidebar....you can already download additional panels for the sidebar...that's all it'd be.
    • by KDan ( 90353 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @10:27AM (#13379266) Homepage

      1) It requires a GMail account
      2) It is automatically available to all GMail users from their web interfaces


      3) It is a masterstroke. In one day they'll go from zero IM users to zillions. Bravo Google.

  • Someone at google... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by LordEd ( 840443 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @09:46AM (#13378895)
    configured talk.google.com to redirect to www.google.com/talk. Its currently an empty page, but perhaps that means something.
  • by Elpepe55 ( 877639 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @09:46AM (#13378900)
    Apparently this will feature VOIP as direct competition to Skype.
    • by asliarun ( 636603 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @09:53AM (#13378971)
      I think so too. Tie this with the fact that Google's buying a whole lot of dark fibre, it makes sense. They've already released the upgraded desktop search along with the sidebar. Deploying the IM through their toolbar or sidebar would be a piece of cake for Google. The question is: how do they make money from a VOIP service or even an IM application if they'll provide the service for free?
  • YAIM (Score:5, Funny)

    by gatkinso ( 15975 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @09:47AM (#13378908)
    Yet Another Instant Messanger.

    Just what we need!
  • by Bitsy Boffin ( 110334 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @09:47AM (#13378909) Homepage
    I don't see what Google has to gain in doing this, surely it would be an incredible uphill battle for an IM released by them to capture any significant portion of the market against the established clients running over MSN's and AIM's protocols.

    They would have to come up with something pretty interesting to cause enough buzz to get people to switch I think.

    Well, tomorrow will tell by the looks of things, one way or the other.
    • by quark101 ( 865412 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @09:50AM (#13378936)
      Part of the allure though is that it will be by Google. Their name alone is enough to make some people switch. In the eyes of many, Google can do no wrong, especially since it has been releasing so many cool programs for free, ala Google Earth, the Sidebar, Gmail, etc.
    • Replying to myself because this just occured to me, sorry if I'm karma whoring...

      If they did manage to capture enough market, it would be an incredible means for them to deliver advertising. Think of it, a targetted adwords ad in the interface, refreshing every now and then based on the keywords in what you are discussing.

      Brings up the old privacy problem, but it's gotta be a good way for G to make some more money out of adwords.

    • Hotmail (Score:5, Insightful)

      by PhYrE2k2 ( 806396 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @09:51AM (#13378954)
      They grabbed a lot of hotmail users at the time when they launched gmail. How is this any different? Microsoft grabbed tons of MSN Messenger users making ICQ's market share take a HUGE dive at that point (almost everyone I know switched over for example).

      Why would they have nothing to gain and why would it be difficult? They offer something better (faster connections, less intrusive ads [since it would be supported by premium VoIP services], easier than remembering a number, more video features, more voice features, linking with cell phones, VoIP, more games, etc) and people will move to it. Better yet, support other messenger services (a-la Trillian... they can do this with Jabber for example) and why would anyone use MSN? There isn't really a barrier to entry. One geek will drag over their friends, and repeat.

      • Re:Hotmail (Score:5, Insightful)

        by senzafine ( 630873 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @10:05AM (#13379069) Homepage
        The difference between switching email providers and IM providers is that email is universal. If i sign up today for a GMail account I can use it to communicate with anyone who has an email address. However, with IM that's not the case. I think it would be awesome if they released an IM program that connected to a propietary Google protocol but also allowed me to connect to AIM. Then I wouldn't have to use trillian anymore (even though I love trillian).
        • Jabber (Score:5, Informative)

          by PhYrE2k2 ( 806396 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @10:32AM (#13379311)
          Jabber has server modules that connect you to most major networks. That's the real push for Jabber is that it bridges the gap. Until M$ blocks Google's IPs (heh), Google could technically put a bridge in there and make connections to Microsoft's servers for every user.

      • Re:Hotmail (Score:4, Funny)

        by milimetric ( 840694 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @11:05AM (#13379590) Journal
        "One geek will drag over their friends"

        geek... friends?

      • >> They grabbed a lot of hotmail users at the time when they launched gmail.

        They've grabbed a lot of hype, that's for sure, but it did not translate into the actual users of the service. They're still below 5M users, while Hotmail has 100M+ users.

        I do agree that Google is technically far superior to Hotmail, but as far as the number of actual users, they're not there yet, and at this point I don't know if they will be.
    • jabber may well be "something pretty interesting". Several of us are already running a jabber server ( which has plugins to other services, btw ).

      If they released an IM service based on jabber, they'd already have an install base ( albeit, not as large as aim/msn ), with the capabilities to talk to the other services through the server of your choice.

      The trick would be releasing a decent client. I know of only one jabber client currently that's usable on a daily basis, the rest are just too awkward or weird ( interface design is not "easy" it would seem, or most people leave it as an afterthought, if it even gets that much ).

      We'll see, regardless, over the next few days. I think it'd be interesting to see google jump behind jabber. That might give the project the kick in the ass it needs.
    • Frankly I would have said the same thing about maps and email.
      And IM client could be very interesting. Of course what no one is saying is that Google could have been running a private jabbers server.
  • Video (Score:4, Interesting)

    by datadriven ( 699893 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @09:49AM (#13378922) Homepage
    Any chances for a linux client that does video?
    • Re:Video (Score:5, Funny)

      by MadFarmAnimalz ( 460972 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @10:15AM (#13379154) Homepage
      Any chances for a linux client that does video?


      How many times do we have to go over this?

      Okay. Now pay attention. The day we get something like that is the day Linus' head explodes and the stump of his neck becomes a nesting ground for wild geese.

      Linux cannot, by unwritten rule, have IM with solid video capabilities. It's common law; it's like our magna carta.

      Anyhow, if that's what you want then you could probably ask some guru which CLI tools to chain together quite against their will. Maybe something like this will work:

      echo /dev/Webcam > mplayer | gaim >& /dev/null &

      (disclaimer: I love linux, but the parent is right; nothing decent like that for linux; careful, I have mod points - mention gnome meeting and I'll, err... err.)
  • Google Cliche'? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ZipprHead ( 106133 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @09:50AM (#13378932) Homepage
    I wonder if Google will monitor what is being chatted about and throw up relevant banner ads.

    With google trying to dominate searching, news, usenet, email and now chat? At what point in time will they become cliche'?

    • by FlopEJoe ( 784551 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @10:47AM (#13379445)
      "I wonder if Google will monitor what is being chatted about and throw up relevant banner ads."

      That should make IM Sex a whole lot more graphic!

      OK, babe... I'm taking off your panties

      Ads by Gooogle: New Victoria Secret panties available!

    • Ads Infinitum (Score:3, Insightful)

      by NetSettler ( 460623 )

      I wonder if Google will monitor what is being chatted about and throw up relevant banner ads.

      I think people would be pretty alarmed if as soon as they started talking about pizza on the telephone, an advertisement for a local pizza place appeared on the LCD screen of their phone base without their asking. In that context, it sounds downright creepy. There may be a legal distinction between phones and IM services, but I think most people would say there's no material moral difference.

      This seems like

    • by Adelbert ( 873575 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @11:34AM (#13379873) Journal
      Google will be passe the moment you can buy Google heroin. Then, as you lie wasted in the street, the needle will serve up contextualised adverts based on your personal preferences.
  • How about getting some of your current products out of beta and into production before putting out new stuff?

    I was always taught to finish what you start...
    • It's called "perpetual beta so that people can't complain if they find a bug, or we totally change stuff on a whim", avoids that whole "need for stability" thing quite nicely :)
  • Gabber? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @09:50AM (#13378941) Homepage Journal
    If this rumor is true, and I run my own Jabber server, can my users connect through my server into Google's users? Are directory and filesharing services mergeable, to appear to my users like I'm part of Google (authentication, etc)? Which IM gateway that gets my users onto the most IM networks, with the largest aggregate user reach?
    • Re:Gabber? (Score:5, Funny)

      by caluml ( 551744 ) <slashdot@spamgoe ... m.org minus poet> on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @10:25AM (#13379245) Homepage
      If this rumor is true, and I run my own Jabber server

      Well, do you? :)

    • Re:Gabber? (Score:3, Informative)

      by vrza ( 103274 )

      If this rumor is true, and I run my own Jabber server, can my users connect through my server into Google's users?

      That's a good question. At this moment, talk.google.com doesn't seem to be listening on port tcp/5269 (which is the standard Jabber/XMPP port for server to server communication), and c2s seems to require some special type of SASL authentification (maybe to discourage users to try connecting with a non-google Jabber client when the service starts). Of course, maybe they will enable s2s (and th

  • Google Talks? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by KSobby ( 833882 )
    Does the world need another IM client? Most geeks tend to use Jabber or Proteus (Mac) to consolidate all of their chat clients into one. Will a standalone really make much of a difference?

    What happened to Google innovating and setting themselves apart? Suddenly they get an IPO and they feel they have to mimic the rest of the industry. If Google wants to be another Yahoo, MSN or AOL that's fine but I was really hoping for something new and different out there, not just a rehash of our current offerings with
  • by jurt1235 ( 834677 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @09:51AM (#13378944) Homepage
    And I just run into somebody on the street proclaiming that the world might fall to pieces tomorrow (actually claiming that the world will end tomorrow, and then asking for a donation. I failed to see the short term use of that donation, so I just wished him luck).

    Anyway: Come back tomorrow and see if google really launched a IM. And if they do, then please not in google earth style or any other google windows only products. If they really want to play along with the big boys, they should make it crossplatform. It is what they owe their current status to!
    • ``If they really want to play along with the big boys, they should make it crossplatform.''

      Because all the big boys (AOL, Microsoft and Yahoo) make their clients cross-platform, too? Seriously, that's not going to matter one bit. Clients will be written for whatever protocol they end up using. In all likelihood, that protocol will be Jabber, and there are already half a bazillion clients for that on many platforms.

      ``It is what they owe their current status to!''

      No. They owe their current status to providing
  • by Octagon Most ( 522688 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @09:52AM (#13378959)
    This seems to be a throwback to the 1990's portal strategy of "stickiness." That is, trying to keep users in the offered services as long as possible in order to market to them. I would be more inclined to believe in a Google messaging system if it was designed around the concepts of search. Google can already offer search via any IM service using a bot to return results just as they do via SMS. Google Desktop can search IM logs from any client that saves logs in a text file. So what's the advantage of yet another IM service? Sure it might raise the profile of Jabber but I don't see that much helping the situation. Unless they are going to unveil some form of speech archiving and searching, I don't see what use this will be.
  • Since Microsoft needs enemies they have to foster competition in every sector they can. It's a living proof that they are not a monopoly. :^)
  • I doubt you're going to get many people to switch from AIM.

    The amount of users on AIM is the main pull to get it... If you want to talk to someone, most likely their IM program of choice is AIM. You're not going to switch, unless everyone you talk to switches as well... and I don't sense a mass exodus coming anytime soon.

    Go to a college campus, and nearly everyone has a screen name on AIM... I know competition is good, but unless all these IM programs can talk amongst each other, I don't see anything overt
    • Not in Europe. I'm reliably informed MSN Instant Messenger's market share here is over 90%, compared to (I think) less than 50% in North America.
      • 90%? Nah. You forget ICQ - it's still pretty big over here - I would guess > 10% at least, mostly consisting of techies though. But you do have a point - AIM is in the promille range in Europe...
    • Most students I know are more likely to be on Yahoo, which easily outstrips AIM in terms of features, but the point stands.

      Most people I know don't switch IM clients. You add them to the ones you already use. So AIM has the largest user base because they were first. I guess the question is, how many IM clients is too many, and will a client like Trillian obviate the intended utility of their product?
  • by YA_Python_dev ( 885173 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @10:04AM (#13379067) Journal

    This time is not a rumor!

    Try it for yourself. Send a string like:

    <stream:stream to='talk.google.com' xmlns='jabber:client' xmlns:stream='http://etherx.jabber.org/streams'>

    to talk.google.com, port 5222. It will respond with a valid RFC 3920 [faqs.org] (Jabber) stream!

  • by shashark ( 836922 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @10:06AM (#13379084)
    http://biz.yahoo.com/rb/050823/markets_stocks_befo rethebell.html?.v=1 [yahoo.com] Google Inc. (GOOG) rose nearly 1 percent before the bell on Tuesday after the Los Angeles Times reported the Web search company will launch its own instant messaging system
    Shares of Google rose $2.54 to $276.55 on the Inet electronic brokerage system, from a $2.74.01 close on Nasdaq.

    Boy oh Boy, that's almost $1 BN ($0.767 BN to be exact) jump in market cap. Tin foil hats and Conspiracy theorists, jump right in.
  • Google Instant Messenger Protocol? I think that name has been used already, so hopefully not...
  • I'll use it... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tezprice ( 875643 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @10:11AM (#13379123)
    I'll be happy to use it if it can connect to at least some of the established networks (e.g. MSN messenger).

    I doubt many of my friends would go through the hassle of switching even if Google Talk turns out to be far superior; an IM program is little use without people to talk to.

  • Different? Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hritcu ( 871613 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @10:11AM (#13379124) Homepage
    "Because the reality is, there's not a whole lot of difference between their search [engine] and anyone else's."
    We don't need Google to be different then the other search engines, as long as it returns the most relevant results :)
  • by caffeinex36 ( 608768 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @10:12AM (#13379129)
    Sounds Silly, but I wouldn't mind a "Google Internet Suite" type thing, that had maybe a client that incorprated google desktop, picasa, IM and gmail as well as search all in one. maybe have some desktopish options like archiving locally some gmail, linking between photos/emails/IM's and files, would definitly be powerful.
  • GAIM anyone? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dave1g ( 680091 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @10:15AM (#13379156) Journal
    GAIM was a rather large recipient in the summer of code stuff google did this summer.

    I already use gaim on windows, because I was fed up with having aim, yahoo, and MSN, Just to talk to a few people on each. They all baloon to 20+ MB of ram each while running. Gaim never reaches 20 while providing me with the same functionality.

    The only problem is the file transfer and A/V chat features. When I want to use those I fire up the official client.

    Here is hoping that google just throws some programmers at gaim and then rebrands it.
  • LOL (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Zebra_X ( 13249 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @10:23AM (#13379222)
    I for one, welcome our new google.com overlord.

    No really, doesn't ANYONE see what google is doing? They own your searchs, they own our e-mail, they are trying to own all of our connections too - either through their "accelerator" service, or by sponsoring free wifi connections across the country. Google, wants to know what we are doing - they want the data so that they can target, model and predict our behavior. I'm not sure that it's such a great thing that one company have all of this information in one place, or it might be just me...
  • Jabber! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lisandro ( 799651 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @10:28AM (#13379272)
    If this makes Jabber more popular, i'm all for it. I dream of a world with an unified, standart and open IM system...
  • Feature (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sethadam1 ( 530629 ) * <adam.firsttube@com> on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @10:33AM (#13379322) Homepage
    Okay, some time ago, Gmail changed form using your "Gmail account" to using your "Google account," so it's a safe bet us gmail'ers already have our Google IM id. However, how cool would it be if you could "save your chat history" or even a specific conversation to a "GIM Chats" label in your Gmail account, which you can then access and search like any other gmail "conversation?

    The potential to integrate your IM conversations into a web based store has NOT been investigated, despite Yahoo and MSN both seemingly having the capability to do so.

    It would seem logging and storing ALL IM chats would likely be a waste of disk space as most of it is generally disposable, but I've had several chats I would like to refer back to with important URLs and phone numbers, etc.
    • Re:Feature (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @11:16AM (#13379678) Homepage Journal
      As long as you can actually delete (and not just archive) chats, yeah, that could be cool. I suspect, though, that many people say a lot of things in IM that they'd never put in an email. I have one friend that I still use the "LAN party chat style" with:

      Me: sup crack?
      Him: i r busy bunghole

      I really don't want to see that stuff saved for posterity (or the day I forget to log out of Gmail before my wife uses the computer).

    • Re:Feature (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anthony Liguori ( 820979 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @11:28AM (#13379787) Homepage
      I would say I'm a pretty average IM user. I've logged my IM conversations for the past two years. The current log directory is 38M.

      Logging has proved invaluable. Not only is it useful for searching for phone numbers, addresses, etc. but it's really useful as a student so that you can go back and refer to discussions about a particular assignment.

      I think that IM clients should enable logging by default.
  • No questions asked. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by shagoth ( 100818 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @10:37AM (#13379353) Homepage
    I notice a number of replies that show users are ready to charge off an use anything Google makes without thought to implications. We are talking about a company that has already indexed everything on the web, they want your email, they want you hard drive and now your instant messaging. Doesn't this scare anyone? Isn't there some serious reservation about privacy concerns for your own stuff? Worry that law enforcement might use it in some ugly way?

    This is a company that has already blackballed a news organization that pointed out how easy digging out the dirt on its own executives is.

    "Don't be evil" on a plaque is not enough protection against the most advanced data mining operation ever built. Regardless of intent, Google is what we always worried the feds would build and the online community keeps giving them more.
  • by Rocketship Underpant ( 804162 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @11:05AM (#13379585)
    My favourite: "Gabber"

    More boring possibilities:

    Google Chat
    Google Messenger
  • Google is insinuating itself into everything . The maps thing is pretty awesome (has a few kinks to work out, though), and Froogle will eventually trounce ebay and all of it's competitor-wannabes, even if it's slow getting started. Google Earth is truly mindblowing (even in its currently primitive state). And now, Google has a customizable 'personal' page. I would not be suprised to wake up some morning and discover that I now live in GoogleWorld. I am very much impressed that they are taking over without doing much in the way of advertising. If anything, they un-advertise (consider the fact that most of the folks posting here today did not realize that Google already has an IM service). They just release a feature, announce it to a few folks, and watch it spread like a virus.

    Should I cheer them on, or be very afraid?

    Here's a very interesting and well-done flash presentation [makingithappen.co.uk] on that subject.

I am more bored than you could ever possibly be. Go back to work.