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Google Talk is a way to talk with other people on their computers. That's good if you want to do it and don't already have an alternative service.

I'm getting emails for Google Talk. Is this a good thing or pass on it?

In this excerpt from Answercast #101, I look at Google Talk as an alternative to Skype or other messaging services.

Google Talk

Well, it depends on what you do. It depends on whether or not it would be useful to you.

Google Talk is a voice messaging system, not unlike Skype in some ways, that allows you to communicate with other people who use Google Talk. You can do both instant messaging, or you can do voice communications.

That's all it is.

Is it a good thing? Sure. It's not a bad thing. Is it useful to you? I can't tell. It really depends on you, who you use it with, and whether or not you don't already have some other alternative - like Skype or Microsoft Messenger or any of the alternatives.

Google Talk is simply the voice and instant messaging alternative that's available from Google.

(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)

Article C6388 - April 7, 2013 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

April 9, 2013 5:35 PM

Does Google Talk allow you to talk to people using other systems? My wife's parents (3200 km away) use Skype. If Google Talk doesn't talk to Skype, then Google Talk is useless.

You know why the telephone became so popular and easy to use? It's because it doesn't matter who your phone company is, they all can talk to each other. I don't think it was always that way, and I think the phone was not as popular when it started out because of it.

If these companies want us to use their software, they've got to work together to work out a standard protocol that all systems use so they can talk to each other.

Google Talk and Skype are separate systems. Google Talk is certainly not "useless" for everyone, because not everyone uses Skype, and many even have contacts on Google Talk. Some ... such as myself for example ... have contacts on both, so run both. Definitely not "useless".

Mark J
April 10, 2013 12:02 AM

In some ways Google Talk is to Skype what Google Plus is to Facebook. It's a great platform but you probably won't find many friends there. It reminds me of an old joke. Heaven is great, but for finding old friends, there's no place like Hell.

April 14, 2013 11:45 PM

Thanks for sharing that great joke!

I second the James' view. That telephone example hits the nail on its head for sure. It's definitely great to have communication protocol established between different systems, whatever they may be! Their benefit and power actually explode when they connect and work together.

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