Today Google Talk Beta went live. What it is, right now at least, is a Jabber server that you can use to talk to your friends, but without a lot of functionality outside of voice and text chat. In addition to the text chat it provides, it also has voice capability that is similar to what Skype offers. So, right now, that is really how I think of the app; a Skype competitor.
For me, this new tool from Google doesn’t offer me much more functionality that I can’t already get elsewhere. I think that they will need to get something in it that will really convince people that it isn’t just another IM client to use. I already use AIM and MSN, there is no need for me to get on Google Talk or Jabber. I guess only time will tell on whether or not the tool will provide any serious utility to the average IM user. Right now it’s too young to be of any use to the day to day IM user. But, knowing Google, they will improve it and it will have that one “must have” function that no other client has. What that is, I have no idea and if it will be worth using is anybody’s guess.