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Google Talk

Yesterday, I downloaded and installed the beta version of Google Talk, Google’s much-rumored and anticipated IM client.

My first impression: it’s pretty damn stripped-down. The interface is nice and clean, but the feature set is pretty small: no interoperability with other chat protocols, no ability to change the event notifications, no skins. On the other hand, it’s built on the open IM protocol Jabber, rather than its own proprietary protocol ala AIM, YahooIM, and MSN Messenger. Since most multi-protocol clients such as Trillian Pro, GAIM, and Adium support Jabber, users of those apps can chat with people on Google Talk.

I suspect the voice chat functionality is pretty cool, except that it appears to only work with other Google Talk users (if someone knows differently, please let me know). I used to have a mike for my computer, but I never used it and lost it somewhere along the way, so I haven’t had a chance to play around with that part of the app.

The other big issue is that it’s Windows-only (yes, I realize it’s only a beta), so even if I did have a mike/headset, I couldn’t run it on my home computer.

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