Blog Post

Here comes Google Voice

Stay on Top of Enterprise Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!

Lots of talk about Google introducing an instant messaging client, using the Jabber technology. I think this will be a voice enabled IM product, which will be released in order to match the “talk” features of Yahoo and MSN. Google Rumors reports that the domain has become active, and sends you to which shows a 404 message. There is already news that Google is running a Jabber server. Jabber already has a deal with AOL, and from the looks of it, is fast becoming a platform of choice for voice-over-IM.

> The Jabber Extensible Communications Platform (Jabber XCP), known for its’ highly programmable presence and messaging framework and unique capability to bridge applications, networks, devices, multi-media, and protocols, is extending even farther.

Jabber’s deal with AOL is all about offering “federated IM” service that can also connect to ICQ and Apple’s iChat. And now Google. And this is the worst possible news for someone like Skype, because now they will up against not two but three giants who want to offer a pale-version of Skype.

42 Responses to “Here comes Google Voice”

  1. I don’t think I will be using the Google Voice any time soon until some tells me that it is safe to do so.
    With companies and governments looking for ways to keep our personal records and shopping habits, it would means a great deal for them to have access to your voice mail too.

    Let me know if you think I’m mistaking here.

  2. ChatAgents now offers a complete Offshore Call Center solution with fully integrated voice, chat, and email support. Simply forward your inbound calls to our call center, or integrate us with your existing PBX

  3. VoIP “access” still requires a PC, IP phone, analog phone with an analog phone adapter as well as some form of broadband internet access. The benefits of VoIP comes from potential unmetered voice usage. However, the VoIP service providers still need to have gateways into the traditional telephone network. There’s no free lunch. VoIP because it’s driven by software, the software can even allow users to perform their own changes to their service unlike calling their traditional telephone provider to add voice mail or callerID.
    The user ends up controlling their service and the potential is apps yet uninvented.

  4. Please note “Jabber (aka XMPP) is not a VOIP protocol.”

    Let’s say Google extend XMPP to do voice. And that it’s encrypted. And it “just works” as well as Skype. And that they work out NAT and firewall busting so it “just works” when unsophisticated users try it. And they build worldwide POTS gateways to support POTS in and POTS out. And there’s an API. And then they add video. Then where’s the killer USP that will persuade all the early adopters who use Skype to switch? And all the MSN and YM! users to switch?

    I hope it happens but that’s a big bite to try and chew.

    Mind you, if all they do is produce a consumer grade client for Jabber (as opposed to the current geek grade offerings), that will be something.

  5. It wouldn’t surprise me if Jabber wasn’t part of the equation at all and they’ve built their own IM / IC server. My speculations are purely based on what I think they will do, not what other folks have said thus far.

  6. Jabber (aka XMPP) is not a VOIP protocol. It’s an open instant messaging protocol, primarily text-based, comparable to AIM or MSN Messenger. If Google is running a Jabber server, that says nothing about whether they will be doing VOIP.

    Now, it’s possible to send SIP messages over Jabber to negotiate a VOIP connection (iChat can do that) but the actual voice/video connection would run entirely independently of Jabber.

  7. I think we should call this Google’s IC [Instant Communicator] rather than IM client. My sources say the tool is going to be released tomorrow but I didn’t ask for specifics on it. My personal speculation is this tool will be their first forray into VOIP. Whether or not it will allow voip to connect to a standard phone on this first rev is unclear but there are many ways in which Google can/will generate revenue off of their new IC client. If they offer land line termination then there’s the per minute fee and who’s to say they’re not going to offer voice search as part of the overall strategy. As wifi phones get more and more popular it’s going to be a great way to incorporate that feature and increase ad revenue and a pay per call model.