As expected, Google introduced their new IM service today, Google Talk. Interestingly enough, I wrote about speculation that Google would utilise the open-source Jabber IM protocol to create their own IM network exactly a year ago today. Unfortunately, I find myself a bit underwhelmed by it. While I like their commitment to keeping the network open to other clients, using Google Talk is going to be difficult, as none of my friends use it, and I cannot use Google Talk to talk to them. The ability for Jabber to use gateways to connect to other IM networks would be useful, although I suspect that the other IM networks would not like this.
One could argue that this commitment is primarily due to the fact that unlike AOL or MSN, Google Talk does not have a captive user base who will use their IM network because it came with their Internet access or operating system.
I know the network has only been officially running for about half an hour, but I do not think this problem is a case of early adoption. The majority of my friends are American, so like most Americans, they use AIM. The two people I know who use MSN are both Canadian. I know one person who uses Yahoo!.