What is google releasing tomorrow?

I guess the question on everyone’s mind is what the hell is google planning for tomorrow. Slashdot crowd is wildly speculating that it is the Jabber based IM service. It appears that talk.google.com is open on port 5222, and it returns an RFC jabber response stream. Which is interesting, but not necessarily informative. Essentially we don’t know shit. Google might be simply running an internal jabber service for employees on that server.

So what is this mysterious communication service that Google will be unveiling tomorrow? Some people think it is that innovative, self learning translation software google was working on lately.

Personally, I don’t really see how an IM service would play into Google strategy. Unless of course they will be serving live, context sensitive text adds, allowing you to search in your chat history and stuff like that. But that would just open a big nasty Pandora’s box on them. People whine about privacy on gmail as it is – imagine how mad will it make them to know that google might be archiving their chats. So I don’t think they are heading that way.

Translation software on the other hand sounds much more plausible. And the concept is innovative, and interesting. Instead of using rules and language templates, just feed google translations and have it learn the language by itself. Sure – if you feed it one page you will get crap, but after digesting few million pages it could really start making sense. I would probably be more excited to see a decent, self improving translation software than another IM service.

But hey, if they roll out a Jabber based IM service, with good archiving and search features it won’t be half as bad either. I’m not sure if they could compete with AIM at this point – but if they release a solid, platform independent multi-protocol compatible software they could snag quite a few users from AOL if they play their cards right. And by that I mean providing GIM to AIM chat functionality, and good implementation of AIM protocol.


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