February 07, 2006

Hello, It's Google Calling

Stowe Boyd has high hopes for Gmail Chat. And why not?

When GoogleTalk first came out, it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that it was half-baked. Part of the fun of not hating Google is guessing what’s coming next. It’s the subtle positioning that NO ONE has ever done better than Google: inviting us to underestimate what they are up to.

The same folks who take the easy road to (or have something to gain by) poking Google in the ribs have been blathering on about Gmail’s reliability and betaness.

That’s why I get such a rush when I learn that Google has announced plans to integrate GoogleTalk IM functionality into Gmail [[see: Laurie Flynn]].

“The new program, called Gmail Chat, will let Gmail users exchange text messages with others without having to log onto a separate chat program, making instant messaging simpler and more integrated with the e-mail program.

From anywhere in Gmail, the user can see who is available to chat. The program will also allow users to store instant-message conversations.”

This morphed email/chat app is like an email version of Skype, right? I see who’s available for a call—and if not I can IM them and they’ll get the message later.

Maybe it's more like an email version of my cell voice mail, where email behaves like voice mail (leave me a message—beeep) and chat becomes like live/realtime voice (except in pixels)… unless… google’s planning…. better-voice-app-too… all integrated....

My observation: Google is only sometimes up to what they seem to be up to – their competitive advantage is still their sleight of hand. I bet you get good at that when everyone’s gunning for you and you have all the money you need to make sure they miss.

Technorati Tags: gtalk, gmail, google, chat, google talk, stowe boyd

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