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Google Talk

Hooray for Google, rah rah rah. But I have to ask: why is their new instant messenger service restricted to the domain? It’s based on the open Jabber/XMPP standard and I already have a ton of IM accounts on a ton of services, Jabber included, why exclude my Jabber from talking to theirs? That’s like, duh, the whole point of the protocol.

(Sidenote to Dreamhost customers: you can activate Jabber on your own server via the web panel. This is why my Jabber ID is the same as my email address)

I know it’s beta, but this lack-of-feature looks more like design than accident, and after years of “don’t be evil” sentiment pouring out of Google Campus this is a serious misstep. Instead of furthering a worthy cause they’re exploiting it, and in doing so creating a closed community from an open technology. Gmail users are allowed to email non-Gmail users (again, like duh, the whole point of email), why not let Talk™ users talk to non-Talk users? XMPP is the email of instant messaging.

On the upside, they’re happy to let you choose of any XMPP-compatible client to connect to their network. How nice.


Whoa: as if Google’s focus wasn’t Americentric enough, you now need an American cell phone to sign up for Gmail, which in turn means you need an American mobile to use Google Talk.

Did I miss something, or were we using the world wide web here?