Google Merges Chat Into Gmail

Google introduced Google Talk awhile back as a free way to chat with other Google members via Instant Messaging and VoIP voice calls. However it is only the seventh most popular chat software outthere currently. Now Google has tied in a chat function to their very-popular Gmail service. A quick contacts list appears now in your Gmail mailbox and allows you to instantly message or contactsomeone. The buddy list synchronizes with your Google Talk contacts list.

One of the more interesting features is the “Off the Record” function. It allows for both parties to not have their chats archived or saved anywhere until both people agree to have it turned back on.Since Google is very big on archiving everything you talk about and discuss, this feature is welcome to many I’d assume. Otherwise, your chats will get saved inside a new folder available inGmail.

If you want to give this new Gmail chat feature a try, you’ll need Internet Explorer 6.0 or Firefox 1.0. Voice chatting capabilities will require that you download the actual Google Talkprogram.