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So?? Google is at it again!!! First it took the business away from the leading Search Engines when it was launched, then it beat up the ad-networks, especially Overture, into submission by its revolutionary Ad-Sense program that helped every Tom, Dick & Harry sell the ad-space on their feeble homepages which no other ad-network was interested in buying!! Then it kicked the leading free eMail providers like Yahoo! & Hotmail up in the a*s by launching its GMail that offered 1000 MB of free storage(at last check, my account yesterday showed 2500 MB of storage). They even brought the search to the next level, by offering a Desktop Search Tool, a move quickly copied by Yahoo! & MSN but not as successfully, to say nothing of their acquisition of the popular free hosted Blog service Blogger, which again was copied by Yahoo! & MSN, again without much success since Blogger already had a lot of users. Next was the Google Maps, an innovative new DHTML interface with live Map browsing, along with satellite snapshots, copied again by MSN without much success. This boosted Google’s revenue like mad, to say nothing of the gains from its IPO!!

And now, if that wasn’t enough, they have launched their IM service Google Talk, to kill the nights’s sleep of AOL, Yahoo! & MSN bosses!! 😀 This IM service along with text-messaging, also has Voice Chat facility, and it will now just start becoming a headache for AOL, Yahoo! & MSN, given Google’s past track-record, these people have a low probability of failing as every move of theirs is calculated & highly analysed, since they employ the best brains in the industry(even Microsoft who was the leader with best brains is having nightmares about it as its employees are being ensnared by Google)!! 😉 This service, like others offered by Google, is FREE!!

And Google does it best if you don’t know, there’s no better way of having people curious about something, than by just letting them know its there & yet declining them access to it, or appear like declining access. They made GMail an invitation only service, so people ofcourse got curious about it quite a lot, what’s Yahoo! & Hotmail worth since they are available to everyone!! GMail was & is the hot thing since its not available to anyone, not yet, its still an invitation only service, though Google is considering opening it for public registration in the United States!! 😉

So Google Talk is also a limited service, available only to GMail users, something that will surely help in boosting its popularity!!

So, before you know, GMail had thousands of users, everyone seemed to want it & they also got it, it became a symbol of cyber-status, if you had GMail, you were considered uber cool!! 😀 I remember people paying even $250 for an invite, don’t know if any more was paid but its quite possible!!

And so I don’t believe in the crap Google said about the service being in Beta, they test out their applications & release only after its ready for public use, its the way I’ve seen with so many things of theirs that have been dished out by Google Labs, with a possible exception of Google Web Accelerator that was ready for use but had certain ouches because of which it was withdrawn!! 😉

So, getting back on point about Google Talk, now this IM service uses the XMPP Protocol & any client that supports Jabber/XMPP can be used to connect to Google Talk network. The fact is that unlike other popular IM networks like AOL, Yahoo! & MSN who (virtually)frown on people tapping in their network & connecting from client softwares other than their own, Google encourages you to use their Network in applications other than Google’s client which is currently available only for Windows 2000 & WindowsXP with plans for a Mac OS-X version soon.

While some might think that Google will face a tough challenge against already established leaders AOL, Yahoo! & MSN, each having more than 10 million users, I think otherwise. A look at GMail’s success is point enough to think otherwise, when Google Talk interfaces with GMail and providing access to the contacts stored in GMail. Industry observers will likely say that why people will switch from their existing IM services, all I’ve to point is again at GMail. Before that, people did have other eMail services as their primary service, be it Yahoo! or Hotmail or anything, but since they got GMail, it changed pretty fast, and I’ve seen a lot of people switch to GMail as their primary eMail service. The same thing happened when Yahoo! launched its FREE eMail service, a lot of people migrated from Hotmail who was the eMail king at that time. It always happens, no matter how established you are, there is always some scope for improvement(for the users, not the company) and its a fact that as revenues start pouring in & as you get customers, corporate arrogance starts corrupting your mind & you become the Mean, Greedy & Co. So the opening is made, from where some new player will enter with the similar product but with enhancements you denied your users & your users won’t look back at you & suddenly the wings with which you’ve been flying on the 7th sky starts melting like the wax wings of Icarus & your perfect corporate world starts shattering around you!!

So, big guys, watch out, Google is surely gonna over throw you & take over the throne as the sole leader in user services like eMail, search & ads, etc. And buzz is about Google brewing a Paypal rival, to talk nothing of Google’s proposed plan of raising $4 billion with a secondary stock offering(I doubt it’ll raise just $4 billion), things are just hot & happening!!