More Instant Messaging Madness

I wasn’t too thrilled when Google released Google Talk – it seemed like just another instant messaging client back then, and a horrible one (at that). They’ve been releasing updates steadily over the past few months, and it’s grown from a ghastly IM choice to a not-so-ghastly option. Since I’m “stuck” on Trillian 2.x (because 3.x is a performance dog), I still can’t load my Google buddies into a single app. However, if you would like to get ahold of me via Google Talk, feel free to add [email protected] – although I might not be able to respond to every incoming message.

The UI still isn’t winning any awards, but I’ll give Google credit for walking down the path of open standards. In fact, they’re playing nicely with AOL in some cases (at least, as far as iChat is concerned). Microsoft and Yahoo are interoperable, so… what’s it going to take to get everybody to talk to one another once and for all? Don’t even get me going on Skype, please – it’s a nice chat client, but it’s also a gateway to your wallet (see the platform for what it is). Today, Google Talk updated their program to enable File Transfer, Voicemail, and something that ups the “cool” factor:

Listening to music while chatting on Google Talk? Now you can let your friends see what you’re listening to by selecting “Show current music track” in your status menu. Your status message will change when your song does! You can also choose to contribute your music tastes to Google Music Trends, and check out what Google Talk users are listening to across the world.

Why is that nifty? Because they support iTunes, Windows Media Player, Winamp, and Yahoo Music Engine – out of the box. If you’re not connecting the dots, that means Google Talk interoperates with Apple, Microsoft, AOL, and Yahoo software. Priceless. That’s the way every piece of software should be.

[tags]google,aim,skype,instant messaging,trillian,ichat,project gizmo,google talk[/tags]