Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Byte: Talk isn't just cheap - it's free.

Well, it's worthless most of the time, anyway...

Google release yet another Beta, this time for an Instant Messenger - Google Talk. As IMs go, it's pretty basic - though I consider that to be a good thing, when you look and see just how flabby MSN Messenger has become. After a reboot this afternoon, GT took a second or two to sign in and start up. MSN, on the other hand, took nearly THIRTY. Rubbish.

Of course, practically no-one is using it yet - my only contact as yet is Mr Cobbett, who pointed me in its direction this very morning - though that too can be seen as a plus point: the contact list isn't flooded with people you added to your MSN list on a whim and who then never talk to you... I fully intend to use it to replace MSN as a bloat-free IM with a very discreet contact list; especially on my machine at work.

Being a Beta, it's sure to accumulate more features as time goes on - hopefully a contact import feature from other IMs, preferably one that allows you to just import selected contacts - not a blanket import of everything...

I hope that they don't ruin the looks too much, though. Currently the interface is very clean an unobtrusive. Let's hope they keep it that way. I particularly like the auto-formatting of text: i.e. making text bold or italic if you surround the string with *'s or _'s at each end.

You may find it worth a download, if you don't mind having yet another IM on your machine...
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