Today's tech news leaves me hopeful about VOIP, instant messaging and their ilk. This makes a nice change as I've been increasingly frustrated by trying to get all the different things working together.
I use Adium which is really very good, better than Proteus which I used previously. Adium is more stable, less of a resource hog and easier to configure. Still it does choke on MSN group chats and of course doesn't support all the voice or video chat of goodness of iChat nor the world of Skype.
iChat is 'sweet' in that Apple-good way but I just have had no joy in getting anything more than audio chat with a fellow Mac-toting iChat user. With my father-in-law using WindowsXP and AOL's AIM I've had no audio or video joy despite my shelling out for a decent Logitech camera.
Skype also is great for what it is, cross-platform, quality voice chat. I find the software a bit clunky and the user lookup patchy. But it does work and dialling out is cheap and fairly good. Still only some people have Skype and no other software can work with Skype's encrypted P2P protocol.
So I face having Adium, iChat and Skype open to make the most of all my contacts and communication options – eugh – I hate all those open windows, especially when Skype on the Mac is such a monster.
So it's intriguing and positive to hear that Google's new Google Talk messaging/VOIP system is built with open standards from Jabber. I'm so happy to see Jabber technology being widely used – it's about time… And Google are really serious about this, they happily show all the clients that will work with their network. No arms races to crack the protocol as we see for MSN.
Call it coincidence but on the same day Skype announced (but didn't release) SkypeWeb and SkypeNet API which promise to finally open the Skype walled garden to the web and other applications.
It's looking good – how or will Yahoo, MSN and AOL respond?