New Google Talk Gadget Goes Live

    March 15, 2007

In a departure from the negative publicity surrounding the company this week, Google announced the launch of its instant messaging gadget today. The Google Talk gadget can be embedded in a user’s personalized Google homepage or on any other webpage or blog simply by adding a line of code.

While the launch of the Google Talk gadget may not exactly be the kind of news that has the potential to rock the foundation of the entire Internet, I’m sure any tidbit that draws attention away from the Viacom lawsuit is a welcome distraction for the folks at the Googleplex.

Here’s what the software engineers had to say about the gadget in the Google Talk Blog:

We know a lot of people love being able to chat with their friends in Gmail Chat, so we created the Talk Gadget to offer that experience in other places, starting with the Google Personalized Homepage. You’ll also find all your Gmail and Google Talk contacts organized for you in the Talk Gadget.

And just like with Gmail Chat, you don’t have to download and install software to use it. One thing we really like is that it looks and feels the same on a Linux desktop as on a Windows laptop, and it also works on Macs. No matter where you go, all you have to do is login to your Google account, and there it is.

It looks like Google is trying to beef up its personalized homepage services in what could be an attempt by the search giant to position itself as true user portal; in much the same fashion as Yahoo currently operates.

If this is indeed the case, however, Google is going to have to do a much better job in marketing their different services. Gmail has finally found its way into the mainstream, but how many of your friends know about Google Finance, Google Talk, or even Google Groups?

I would venture to guess that number is much less than those who are familiar with all of Yahoo’s offerings.