Google enters Skype territory

November 11, 2008

Google’s at it again.

The Web search leader edged into Skype’s territory at on Tuesday with a feature that allows multitasking Gmail users to video chat, IM and email all at the same time.

Gmail and Google App subscribers can now gossip with friends or coworkers on a high-quality video screen and simultaneously instant message them in a Google Chat box.  The video screen can be popped out of the chat box and moved around a user’s computer screen.

Check out this YouTube video with Google engineer Serge Lachapelle to see how it works. A team of Googlers in Seattle, Sweden and Silicon Valley collaborated on the new app, which is available for both PC and Mac users.

All you need is a webcam and this web browser plug-in to start chatting. And for those who don’t have a webcam, you’ll still be able to chat with friends by voice.

The video feature will help businesses get things done more efficiently (and cheaply, too) by allowing “face-to-face collaboration among employees” and also help “cut travel and IT expenses,” Google said Tuesday.

But it’s also for ideal for anyone who wants to chat and socialize with people not in the same room.

Although Google launched the video and voice chat feature today, it’s still being rolled out on Macs and PCs internationally this week, so it may take longer for others to be able to access the plug-in.

For those who have already downloaded the video and voice chat, does it work as great and as seamless as it seems?

— Reporting by Jennifer Martinez


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By ‘PC’ you mean Windows, right? Because PC is not Windows.

Posted by Lukáš Polívka | Report as abusive

“Unlike eBay-owned Skype’s video chat feature, users can manipulate the size of the screen to however large or small they want and also expand it to full-screen size.”

Skype users are able to manipulate video screen sizes – including expanding them to fill the screen – and have been able to do so for quite some time :)

Posted by Peter Parkes (Skype Blogger) | Report as abusive

Thanks Peter, we’ve deleted that paragraph.

Posted by Nichola Groom | Report as abusive