Google Talk: finally, a big player embraces open IM

Google Talk has launched. Nice to see that they interoperate with other clients conforming to the IETF XMPP IM/Presence specifications.

From 1996-1999, our team at Austin startup Activerse pursued a IM product strategy based on the idea that this crucial internet application space, like email before it, must eventually be ruled by decentralized, interoperable, standards-based products. We demoed interoperabilty with prototype software from Microsoft, Lotus, Fujitsu, Ubique, and AT&T using a HTTP-inspired, REST-ish toy protocol called PIP-DEMO. We helped author the IETF's Instant Messaging / Presence Protocol Requirements (RFC 2779), a key source document for the many attempts at standardization that followed, including the XMPP IM/Presence specification.

But "eventually" wasn't soon enough for tiny Activerse -- with the giant players like AOL, Yahoo, and Microsoft more-or-less happy with owning their own giant closed IM networks.

Google might just survive the wait!

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It's even got a 'doing' field that works a lot like the one we had at Activerse. The position of the text box is right under your name and online status, whereas other IM clients (Ding! excluded) tend to hide it in separate dialog several mouse clicks away.
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