Friday, August 26, 2005

Google Talk

Google released Google Talk yesterday. Google Talk is an instant messenger program (windows only, no mac yet). The internet was been awashed with news of this very recent development and Google stock (Nasdaq: GOOG) rose 0.35% today.
So... the big question is "what promise does it hold?"

Current situation suggests that not many people will use Google Talk. Like any other software, it will take time (more than a year) for the number of users to reach a reasonable level. AOL, Yahoo and Microsoft already control the IM market, with AOL having the biggest pie. In addition, Microsoft is coming up with Microsoft Office Communicator, a solution to "integrate" all 3 IM protocols. Although Google Talk uses the opensource protocol, it is unlikely that it will make any significant difference here.

Currently, Google Talk lacks in features as compared to MSN Messenger. The only 'interesting' thing is the VoIP feature. But those interested in VoIP would have tried software like Skype. In addition, Google Talk cannot send files or even play online games like in MSN.

While the hype about VoIP is its convenient and that it offers cheap calls (or absolutely no costs)... it is also dangerous... how do you make an emergency call when the electricity it out?

At the end of the day, it is still very hard to see where Google Talk is going. Google Talk may be another 'cool' thing among fans now, but it might die out. In any case, it is certain Goole will have to continue making improvements.

So what is next after Google Talk? Google Finance? (time to stop going to Yahoo! Finance?)

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