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Google with a 1-2 punch


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Google is pulling out all kinds of crazy things, and I can see MS trying to keep up now.

Desktop search 2 - the sidebar is actually pretty handy. It also serves as a great search for Outlook.

Googles Personal Homepage - use RSS feeds and other tools to make a great starting point for your browser.

Don't forget Gmail

And tomorrow they are apparantly putting out an Instant Messaging tool that allows voice chat too.

read the full article here.

Report: Google ready to walk the walk with text, voice IMs

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) — Google (GOOG) is planning to introduce its own instant messaging system, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday, marking the expansion by the Web search leader into text and voice communications.

Citing unnamed sources "familiar with the service," the Los Angeles Times said that Google's instant messaging program would be called Google Talk and could be launched as early as Wednesday.

Google Talk goes beyond text-based instant messaging, letting users hold voice conversations with other computer users, the newspaper quoted a source as saying.

A Google spokeswoman declined to comment on the company's product plans.

If confirmed, the combined computer text and voice service would put Google in competition with a similar service pioneered by Skype, which has attracted tens of millions of users, especially in Europe, to its own service.

Separately, independent journalist Om Malik on his blog at http://gigaom.com/ pointed to technical clues that suggest Google is preparing to run an instant messaging service based on an open-source system known as Jabber.

Jabber technology would allow Google instant message users to connect with established IM systems that also work with Jabber, including America Online's ICQ and Apple Computer's iChat, Malik said.

"This is the worst possible news for someone like Skype, because now they will be up against not two but three giants who want to offer a pale-version of Skype," he wrote.

Earlier this week, Google said it is branching out beyond pure search to help users manage e-mail, instant messages, news headlines and music. It introduced a service called the Google Sidebar, a stand-alone software program that sits on a user's desktop and provides "live" information updates.

Over the past year or so, the company has expanded into e-mail, online maps, personalized news and more.

The product push comes as rivals Yahoo (YHOO), Microsoft (MSFT) and Time Warner's (TWX) AOL are all pushing to upgrade existing instant messaging systems and expand into new Internet phone-calling services.

Google's moves take it beyond its roots in Web search and closer to becoming a broad-based Internet media company.

With instant messaging, Google would be breaking into a market in which its major competitors boast tens of millions of subscribers to their established instant messaging services.

America Online, with its AIM and ICQ brands, counts more than 40 million IM users in the United States alone. Yahoo has about 20 million and Microsoft's MSN Messenger numbers about 14 million users, according to recent comScore Media Metrix data.

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Thanks for the link! I've been looking for something to handle a word-related RSS feed, and none of the stand-alone systems I found were suitable (largely due to their complete inability to handle the proxy/firewall setup we have). Since the Google Personal Homepage works within my browser, that's not a problem. One URL copy/paste, and I was up and running.

Now if I could just configure its weather display to use degress Celsius and windspeed in km/h...



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good point but, I've had no problem with MSN's messenger program or hotmail.

MSN had a free phone service for a while a few years ago, but it disappeared. Google is really on the right track. The one tragedy that I'm reading is that Skype will be affected the most by this, or even speculation that Google will buy it up.

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