Gmail gets chatty

Search-giant Google has integrated instant messaging (IM) into its Gmail service, in an effort to lure users away from rivals AOL, Microsoft and Yahoo.

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By  Cleona Godinho Published  February 9, 2006

Search-giant Google has integrated instant messaging (IM) into its Gmail service, in an effort to lure users away from rivals AOL, Microsoft and Yahoo. Users of the new chat service will now be able to chat to their Gmail contacts and save chat histories without using an additional instant messaging program. The approach will provide Gmail users with a list of contacts based on past e-mail interactions and then display which of these are currently online. “We didn’t think it made sense for there to be this artificial separation that currently exists between e-mailing and chatting,” stated Salar Kamangar, Google’s vice president of product management, as reported by News.com. “People don’t want to have to have two separate contact lists for e-mail and instant messaging.” Google’s new feature has already been added to a number of Gmail accounts and will be present in all Gmail user accounts by the end of this week. The service only works if both chat users have Gmail (or compatible) accounts or Google’s Talk software installed. Since its launch, many Firefox users have reported crashes when trying to use the new chat service. To solve this, Google recommends all Firefox users disable the browser’s Adblock plug-in, clear their browser cache and then log back into Gmail.

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