Planet Potato and Back Seat Drivers have both given their reaction to the front page story on The Irish Times in relation to the new Google Talk service.
It seems as though The Times got some facts wrong, stating that the service allows you to make free telephone calls across the world (which it doesn’t, just IM to IM calls), that it is only available in the USA and all you need is a mobile phone to get an account. The reality is that the service is global, but you need a Gmail account to sign up. The Irish Times made their mistake by misinterpreting Googles new offer, which allows any US resident with a mobile phone to get a Gmail invite, which will lead to a Google Talk account. Of course, if you have a Gmail account already you’ll know that there are plenty of invites available without the need for a mobile phone.
In relation to the service itself, it seems as though Google has made a pretty calm entrance, with a heavy focus on voice chat; something that the bigger IM clients (MSN, Yahoo! etc.) aren’t as bothered with. It would not surprise me though if Google come out with some amazing new feature in the coming weeks which integrates tonnes of their other services together to create something amazing. As it stands, MSN has integrated its websearch into its IM client, but Google has not.
We shall watch and wait.