Google continues to launch app after app (could we say it is actually building a future OS piece by piece in public view??) with the latest going after telephone networks, VoIP software and instant messenger programmes.
Google Talk is the name attached to this ambitious download and as such is the first tool to combine instant messaging and VoIP functionality into a single package. Gmail contacts and email alerts are also added in as well.
Now, given the near fanatical following Google has the software should do pretty well, though the market is already crowded with well established offerings from the likes of AOL, Yahoo, Microsoft and more. VoIP market leader Skype also enjoys near total dominance in its sector.
Another limiting factor is that Google Talk users will need a Gmail account in order to use it. The same is true of other instant messaging programmes, but – unlike the competition – Gmail is still only signing up new members via referrals from existing users despite the fact that is has been out for nearly 18 months.
That said, Google will be able to throw its considerable financial weight behind Talk (the $80bn company is now worth more than Time Warner) so inroads will no doubt be made. If you are one of the lucky ones to already have a Gmail account (like me :P), skedaddle over here to get up and running.
Gmail is now open to all Google says, however it appears to define "all" as those of us living in America who are prepared to give it their mobile phone numbers. So that's a potential 296m out of 6.4bn people then... All indeed!
To be fair though, expect global availability sooner rather than later.