I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have multiple instant messenger programs running. (That is a lie. I first downloaded AIM in 1999. I know because of my screen name). But the point I’m trying to make is that I’ve never had just one program that connected me to everyone.
In fact, I have my accounts set up similar to my email boxes. I have AOL for work. MSN Messenger for friends and side projects. Yahoo for friends.
I’ve tried to use clients that combine all three, but the end result is that 1) you lose functionality (yes, I have a webcam and, no, not that type of webcam) and 2) the clients are buggy.
Google hopes to change all of that with TALK, the instant messenger program that will presumably work with the three major clients, tie in with Gmail, and with Net telephony.
There’s no saying how this experiment will turn out (okay, that’s a lie too, we’ll have a take on Friday). We know that Google has a billion dollars or so to play with, so they won’t fail for lack of resources. However, this does get them out of their core business area: search. It’s a ‘risky’ move (clearly this won’t sink the company) that could be Google’s first big disaster in its public life.
I haven’t been turned by Google. No Gmail account for me (although my friends do love it). In fact, the only thing I use Google for is search: both desktop and toolbar. I know it’s decidedly untechie of me, but for some reason, Google to me is only search.