Friday, August 26, 2005

Google Talk

Raise your hand if you were underwhelmed by Google Talk not only being Windows-only, but a desktop app. ::raises hand::

I'm sure I'm not the only one scratching my head over Google's decision to do a desktop app as opposed to a web client. It's not like it hasn't been done before — AOL's AIM Express is, as far as I can tell, a pure DHTML IM client although I can't tell for sure if it's a persistent connection or polling. Actually, I don't care; AIM Express rocks. It does the job, works in Moz, 'nuff said.

Most likely Google Talk is chained to the desktop due to it's VoIP features. Fair enough, I don't think, uh, VoIP-over-HTTP is a worthwhile endeavor right now. Maybe the IM features are just a nice-to-have thrown in on top of an app that was initially designed to make VoIP as easy as IM.

But still, kind of a strange sideways move for Google.


At 2:36 AM, Blogger Bob Ippolito said...

Technically they could do VoIP-over-HTML via Flash, but they'd have to use a bunch of proprietary technology.

The other way, of course, is for Google to write a VoIP plugin for browsers that you must have if you want to use VoIP features. Duh.

Anyway, browsers suck for applications like this, I'm not too surprised. At least they picked a nice open protocol to do it over.

At 3:20 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

MSN has a web client as well:

At 5:19 AM, Blogger Patrick said...

The problem with a browser based solution is that you'll be logged out every time you want to close the browser.
The fact that it's desktop windows only doesn't mean you can't use Google Talk in Gaim, iChat etc etc

At 6:58 AM, Blogger Christopher said...

This app is all about voice. I take Google at their word - they don't do chat. This is about VoIP, and this time not about Ajax.

At 9:10 AM, Blogger scottandrew said...

christopher: I agree. The more I think about it, the ability to just have instant VoIP, more-or-less free to the consumer, is an awesome thing to have.

Seems like I (and a lot of people) are too focused on the IM features. Which makes me wonder why they bothered?

At 9:51 AM, Blogger David said...

Eh, the IM part was probably simple enough (Jabber), so it's nice to have in there. The ability to do instant on/off voice chat is pretty useful when you have folks working all around the country. Insta-conference baby.

That said, it isn't revolutionary by any stretch of the imagination. Well executed, yes.


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