Google Talk...Snore...

august 23, 2005

As previously guessed by the whole internet, Google Talk (aka Gtalk) is using Jabber and has VoIP built-in. The client is a 900kb download for Windows only (thank you very much). For the rest of us, we can use other clients like AdiumX, Gaim, or iChat to access Gtalk since the underlying chat protocol is Jabber. Only the Windows client has the voice chat feature. Logging into Gtalk requires a Gmail account (of course) and nothing else. Here is the thing though: This is a medioccre IM client and stinks like a bad rush job. I thought that Google would come out with some great new innovative feature that would make us all drool. But, unfortunately, they did not. Lets go over the features:

Err. That's it? That's all? That's it? Boring. Just plain boring. Google owns the Hello client, why didn't they do something built around that? At least with that there was photosharing. I guess the bigger question is: Why the hell did they release Sidebar and Gtalk as seperate products? I think Gtalk would have more "wow" power if it had all of the features of Sidebar integrated into it. Just think, a chat client that does text/voice, searches your desktop, gathers news, and checks your email. This decision to release Sidebar and Gtalk as separate products is clearly an indicator that Google is rushing products out the door. As it stands, Google has put out a very mediocre product that clouds the shine of the brand name that people associate with innovation. Why would anyone with an AOL, Yahoo! or MSN IM account want to jump ship for Gtalk (other than if they are a Google fanboy)? There's no innovative or compelling feature in Gtalk to make people want to move to a new IM client and convince their friends and familes to move also. The release of this mediocre IM client further cements the whole perception that Google is now in catch-up mode instead of innovate mode. I am quite disappointed with Gtalk.