Another day of autumn, another bloated new version of Yahoo Messenger. Very few people remember that Google launched back in 2005 an instant messenger that promised to enhance people's lives. The Windows application with a non-standard interface and the strange installer that didn't give you any option.
Google Talk's silence gave birth to a Flashy gadget that can be embedded into any web page, even if the only effect is that the page loads slower. The gadget took over Google Talk's homepage and even added some features that weren't available in the stagnant desktop client.
10 months have passed since the last Google Talk release and people expect to see all the features from the bloated Yahoo Messenger in the same simple interface. The promised integration with AIM, Skype and the "traditional phone systems" should also be added.
For the moment, the original Google Talk got back the homepage and has yet to add an entry in the "What's new" page. Despite its acute lack of features, Google Talk is almost perfect because it didn't make too many mistakes.
Probably the biggest mistake was to promise things that couldn't be accomplished in a timely manner.
"Your #1 feature request was file transfer, which we're happy to have launched. Look for updates to the form, and make sure to vote again! Now, we're off to the next version. I can't tell you what your #2 and 3 suggestions were, but I do know that they're on the way." (Google Talk Blog - August 21, 2006)
"Just as exciting are our plans to explore interoperability between Google Talk and Skype, making it easier for our users to chat with one another. This is just another step in our commitment to interoperability via open, industry standards." (Google Talk Blog - August 28, 2006)
The second mistake was the lack of communication and that's hard to understand, especially if you consider that Google Talk is a communication app. It's actually "a Google approach to instant communications".