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Google Enables Voice And Video Chat On Linux

"Top video chat request" took 22 months to grant

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About 22 months ago, Google launched a voice and video chat feature within Gmail, allowing many people to have live, face-to-face conversations with their friends and colleagues.  Now, a few more folks – Linux users – will finally be permitted to take advantage of it, too.

Late yesterday, Tristan Schmelcher, a software engineer, wrote on the Gmail Blog, "If you’ve been wanting to use voice and video chat on Linux (our top video chat request), then we have good news for you: it’s now available!"

Schmelcher then spilled some specifics by continuing, "Visit gmail.com/videochat to download the plugin and get started.  Voice and video chat for Linux supports Ubuntu and other Debian-based Linux distributions, and RPM support will be coming soon."

GoogleThis development represents a respectable nod to the Linux community if you believe in the phrase "better late than never."  And it’s not like Google could have improved the situation by waiting longer.

Still, it’s hard to imagine Linux users aren’t feeling a little underappreciated due to the 22-month delay, so the matter of how quickly RPM support does (or doesn’t) arrive will bear watching.

Going forward, Google might want to do a better job of keeping the latest versions of other products and services available to Linux users, as well.

Google Enables Voice And Video Chat On Linux
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  • Indian-art

    I’m glad Google Enables Voice And Video Chat On Linux.

  • Stupidscript

    Running the new Gmail Audio/Video Chat plugin under Ubuntu 10.4 Hardy (2.6.32-24 Linux kernel) with the ALSA audio manager shows video and plays audio but it breaks my microphone.

    On system boot, the audio works fine, both in and out. But when Gmail is launched with the new chat binaries installed I get video and I can hear audio just fine, but my audio input is dead for the rest of the session, requiring a reboot to get it back. This happens with both the internal microphone and an external microphone … as soon as I log into Gmail, the microphone stops working until I reboot.

    I’m eager for this feature to work, as I run dual-boot Windows 7 and Ubuntu 10.4 … and I’d prefer not to need to switch to Win7 at all, if I can help it. As of now, Gmail video/audio chat is the only thing I need Win7 for. Can’t come soon enough …

  • http://tothefuturewithlove.net Deni

    But why only for Ubuntu? What about Gentoo for example.
    Anyway, it’s high time that Google start giving Linux users the same treatment like Mac and M$ users. After all Android is Linux-based!

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