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Summary:

Google has plans to integrate GTalk chat/IM service with its popular GMail email service. On the urging of some readers including Venkatesh and Gtalkr’s Dudley Carr, I checked my GMail, and discovered a “chat” entry in the left hand menu. When I clicked, this message came […]

Google has plans to integrate GTalk chat/IM service with its popular GMail email service. On the urging of some readers including Venkatesh and Gtalkr’s Dudley Carr, I checked my GMail, and discovered a “chat” entry in the left hand menu. When I clicked, this message came up:

Get Google Talk so you can chat and make free voice calls with friends. Your Google Talk chat history can be automatically saved right here in your Gmail account. Also coming soon: chat in Gmail!

Looks like you can soon chat from within the browser, ala Meebo. Maybe this will get some life into the Gtalk platform, which like most (if not all) Google efforts has been slow out of the gates.

  1. Om, this is so simple, yet so cool. Why has it taken a newcomer to “revolutionize” the simple idea of unified communications within the browser!? It’s Google who makes the simple, simply irresistable.

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  2. I really hate to be the one to point this out given that I work at Microsoft, but Hotmail has had this for years. And I’m not talking about the next generation (Kahuna aka Windows Live Mail). I mean standard, old school, blue Hotmail.

    Unified contact list, online presence indicators in the inbox & contact list, and “Instant Reply” on email messages. And the great thing is that it doesn’t even require a client to use it (you won’t get that error message above)… it gracefully falls back to MSN Web Messenger if MSN Messenger isn’t installed. Pretty cool, but I’m obviously biased.

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  3. I can’t help feeling this is the wrong way round. Integrate chat into email?? Surely email into chat would be more sensible. If an email isn’t from someone I know, then it doesn’t get my immediate attention.
    Perhaps Kahuna will do that? I don’t know, I didn’t get a beta test invitation! sniff

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  4. I think this is a great idea.

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  5. Are you kidding me??? why are people freaking out like it is the greatest thing ever??? c’mon google

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  6. I wonder when G-Chat will be available for Safari/Mac users. Microsoft isn’t supporting IE for the Mac anymore (not that i’d want to use it), and I like Safari enough that I don’t feel the need to get Firefox…except for maybe to see what all the fuss is about.

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  7. I think the key is the ability to automatically save transcripts of your chats to a folder in gmail. This will be very useful. Microsoft/Hotmail with their space limitations never put this is.

    The next step is of course to see Gtalk voice messages saved to gmail. email and voicemail in the same box.

    I think it is these nifty features, small but handy, that are really helping google rehash old ideas into very usable formats. VOIP and P2P clients have been aroun for some time. But, once we have voicemails available in gmail inbox with simple click hear/delete/save functionality, gtalk based voip will see a lot more usage.

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