Google Rumors In the Air

August 23, 2005

Social Networking, Technology

Yesterday, Google brought us the new Google sidebar. Tomorrow, Google may unleash it’s IM solution – at least, according to the LA Times.

But for today, Google brings us the rumors of things yet to be. Mike Stanclift (of Newwin) is speculating that the Google IM tool will utilize the open-source Jabber protocol. Of course, all of this is speculation. In reality, we don’t know if an IM solution is waiting in the wings. But let’s assume that one is. Wouldn’t it be great if Google did deploy a Jabber-based IM service?

First, users could select from any number of client systems (e.g., Trillian, Gabber, Exodus or even the Jabber Messenger clients for J2ME, Symbian, Pocket PC and RIM). And this flexibility could ensure an extremely rapid deployment in the marketplace – especially for mobile platforms. But I doubt that Google would dillute their brand message by inviting wholesale abandonment of a branded client tool. Nevertheless, if they did allow other clients, they would gain immediate access to the OS X and Linux clients that the other IM providers are intentionally ignoring.

Second, Jabber platforms have been built with gateways to support direct connections to other IM networks/providers (incl. AIM, MSN and Yahoo!). If Google released a tool that would bridge all of these networks together, they could snap up a lot of customers (and their correlated click counts). Of course, folks like AOL might fight this by denying access to their network. But it would take time before walls could be errected. And such an action might send a bad message. Think of this. Google would be seen as the “enabler” of communication while AOL would be seen as blocking the free exchange of ideas on the net. It would be quite a PR coup, indeed.

This should be fun! Stay tuned for more.




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