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Google unveils open, instant communications service

Google has launched Google Talk, a downloadable Windows application that enables Gmail users to quickly and easily talk or IM with their friends for free.

Google has launched Google Talk, a downloadable Windows application that enables Gmail users to quickly and easily talk or IM with their friends for free. Google is focused on developing innovative technologies that enhance people's lives, and Google Talk encourages and simplifies instant
communication across the web.

"At Google, we're continually investing in areas where we can make technological change, and we recognize the importance of efficient instant communications and information exchange," says Georges Harik, director, product management at Google. Google Talk was developed to make it faster and easier for people to connect to the information they need.

Key features include: Superior voice quality through just a computer microphone and speaker. Simple and intuitive user interface - no clutter, pop-ups or ads. Shared Gmail contacts list so there's no need to maintain different contacts lists. Gmail users can download Google Talk by visiting http://www.google.com/talk/. Once they download the application, they can begin inviting others by clicking "Add friend" from the Google Talk interface. Those invited to Google Talk will also receive a free Gmail account, if they do not currently have one.

Google believes users should have a choice in what applications they use for communication. Built to support industry standards, Google Talk enables users to connect to the Google Talk service and exchange IMs using any client that does the same, including Trillian, Adium, iChat, GAIM,
and Psi.

The company is also working with other service providers to
create a federation model that enables users on any member network to talk to users on any other member network in a secure and abuse-free manner. It is currently working with EarthLink to federate with it Vling communications service and with Sipphone on federating it Gizmo project.

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