Google Talk

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Tom Keating
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Google Talk

After all the talk about Google VoIP, all the theories about what Google's purchase of tons of dark fiber means, all my prognostications on Google VoIP, it finally appears that Google is going to have a VoIP offering called Google Talk to be launched tomorrow. First, hat tip to Om, for covering this story on Monday where he discusses Google using Jabber technology within Google Talk. Jabber is known as "the Linux of instant messaging" -- an open, secure, ad-free alternative to consumer IM services like AIM, ICQ, MSN, and Yahoo.

Google always tried to utilize open standards, so it is no surprise to me that they chose the Jabber technology. There is no word on whether or not Google Talk will simply be an instant messaging client with simple P2P "voice chat" features or if it will incorporate PSTN dialing as well to compete directly with Skype and their SkypeOut service. Also, since Google is renowned for adopting open standards, I would have to assume that if they are doing VoIP that they are utilizing the SIP protocol. I also wonder if they are using an open SIP stack such as the one by SIP Foundry or some other equivalent. Further, the ability for Google Talk to do P2P calling competes directly with Skype - so how does this affect Skype's recent "shopping around" for buyers? I wonder if Skype approached Google with such a high pricetag that Google said "screw it, we'll build it ourselves".

It will also be interesting to see if Google Talk will encorporate P2P SIP to traverse through NAT firewalls. If that is the case, then we finally have a Skype killer on our hands.

Update: Typo on my part, meant to type Google Talk not Google Voice. I changed my blog post to reflect this.
Update 2: Rich Tehrani has some thoughts on Google Talk as well.

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