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August 23, 2005

Google plans instant messaging, VoIP

Google Inc looks like it is gearing up to launch Google Talk, its take on the instant messaging space and voice over IP space.

By CBR Staff Writer

Reports from the New York Times and Los Angeles Times yesterday, which cited anonymous sources saying Google will announce an IM service today, were backed up by bloggers who did their own detective work.

It was discovered that the domain currently resolves, albeit to a Google web server error. Other randomly tested sub domains, such as, do not resolve, and instead return DNS errors.

In addition, a screenshot, circulating on the internet, of somebody attempting to connect their Trillian IM client to with a random username shows that the servers on that domain are listening for XMPP messages.

XMPP is the message transfer protocol used by Jabber, the open-source instant messaging software maintained by the Jabber Software Foundation and primarily commercialized by Jabber Inc.

In the instant messaging space, AOL, MSN and Yahoo currently own the market. Google has spent the last few years been playing catch-up with these companies, adding features such as webmail, maps, mailing lists and comparison shopping.

The purported Google Talk brand suggests that there will almost certainly be a voice component at some point.

Whether it will be a PC-to-PC chat feature, as offered by the incumbent leaders in the IM space, or a full-blown PC-to-phone VoIP client capable of making the likes of Skype Technologies SA worried remains to be seen.

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