Google’s been busy – Google Talk has been unleashed and an update to Google Desktop. The Talk application allows anyone with a Gmail account to talk to one another or just IM as per any of the other IM apps. Free, simple and open source as it’s built on Jabber protocol. Nice.
Google Desktop is more than a simple upgrade. They’ve dropped the ‘Search’ from the title and now include a Sidebar that similar to the sidebar that was once in the Vista beta’s and can be picked up as freeware elsewhere. The desktop search is also more refined, popping up in a small window similar to MSN desktop search. Nice. The sidebar is pretty ugly though. Although it can check your Gmail account, weather, has a quick launch window and can check stocks and shares it’s all been done before and clutters up the desktop. I prefer to use just a search entry box and see the results.
What’s frustrating is that there is a lot of duplication between Google, Yahoo, MS and others all clambering for the same market. Where’s the originality? Kottke article expands on this some more – WebOS anyone? Maybe one day but the confusion between what the big players offer, an increasing lack of trust in web browsing and e-mail never mind web apps and the 80-85% userbase who will never switch from IE 6 makes me think that MS will be in control for the foreseeable future and that a suite of web apps may be useful but will never truly replace desktop apps. And remember – as a company gets bigger it gets all the more hated.