Ive been using Google Talk (GTalk) for the last week or so... and i am a complete convert. I have now stopped using Yahoo! Messenger and will probably come off MSN Messenger in the next 6-months.
Why? -- I mean its just another friggin' IM Client and not that functional either, right?
Well its the principle. In each generation there has been a company that truly dominated and influenced the computing era. In the 70's it was IBM, in the 80's we went through this painful transformational phase -- where it seemed like nothing terribly exciting happened, but out of that pain came the 90's and the Internet which Microsoft dominated through Windows. But if we were to look today and to the future, to find the one company that will leaved a marked and lasting impression on our day-to-day lives, that company is surely Google.
We can dismiss efforts like Google Talk but that would be missing point. I genuinely believe that when Google puts its mind to a concept or an idea, it has the ability to execute. To support that execution it has a global infrastructure platform to deploy onto and fairly robust advertising business model based on AdWords. It makes the effort in creating these applications effortless and much like Windows, can create the network effect due to the large number of users that would adopt it. In short it has the power to be life-changing.
But here's the point, just creating software doesn't mean people will come. The trick is to build software (and Services) that are simple, easy, intuitive and innovative.
Yeah-- but what i fear Google? - The companies mantra "do not be evil" -- is a value based ideology that sits very comfortably with the open-source free-thinking Wikipedia Internet oneness of humanity. Google believes in being benevolent. There is no reason to fear Google.
So that's the difference with Google. They have bright smart people that 'get it' and they have the platform to execute.