Friends from unexpected places

A few months ago, I found myself in the most unexpected of places. Iraq. That's right, Iraq. For a friend’s wedding.

I was there for a week, and managed to make some really good friends. The bride's family, our driver, our translator, etc. We went jogging and shopping. Some of us even got our nails done. I couldn't believe it, but many of these friends were really avid Gmail users! They'd invited a bunch of their friends and were getting more and more Iraqis using Gmail! So when we launched Google Talk, I was really excited to be able to share it with them--now they could stay in even better touch.

I'll never forget the first time one of them, Azher, showed up in my Friends list. I had to call him immediately! There was some crackling at first, but then the sound came through really clearly. It was just so cool to talk with a friend in Baghdad!

I hadn't really expected to keep in touch with many of the people from my trip. But with Google Talk, I find myself chatting or talking with Azher every few days or so. I tell him about what’s going on at Google and he tells me the latest in Baghdad. It's also an easy way for me to make sure he's safe and ok every day.

Sometimes, I almost don't believe I was in Iraq (my parents still don't know so I hope they don't read this). The whole thing was pretty surreal. But then, whenever I glance over at Google Talk, I see Azher's status message (ironically, it's usually just an update on the weather) to remind me that it did happen after all :)

Ana Yang
Gmail and Google Talk Product Marketing Manager

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XMPP Federation

I flipped the switch to connect the Google Talk Service to the public XMPP network this morning. Google Talk users can now chat with users on other XMPP services and vice versa.

If you want to connect your service to the Google Talk Service, you should know that Google Talk uses the dialback protocol as described in RFC 3920.

Please post to the Google Talk Open Group if you have any questions or problems with interoperability on the Google Talk Service.

I'm proud to have worked on this, and to be the one that got to turn on something that lets Google Talk users talk to millions of other users out there.

Gary Burd
Software Engineer

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It rained for 27 straight days here at Google Talk World Headquarters in Kirkland, WA. We had a nice day yesterday, but it's raining again today. When people say that the winters are wet in the Pacific Northwest, they are not kidding.

Gary Burd
Software Engineer

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YT?...Google Talk for BlackBerry

I was at CES last week with the Google Talk team and several people asked me if Google Talk would be available on cell phones and other mobile devices. I said absolutely, since that's one of the goals of the open platform on which we built Google Talk. We believe that users should have their choice in client, platform, and service provider. We'd like them to have the ability to communicate on the devices they find most useful.

Email is my primary means of communicating, so I'm an avid Blackberry user. For those quick conversations though, IM sometimes fits the bill better. It's a bit more personal and often more efficient. Now I can have both. I'm particularly excited to see Research in Motion announce Google Talk for Blackberry, taking communication one step further with useful features like the integration of IM and the email inbox. The ability to manage contact lists and view buddy presence is also useful and I am much more likely to stay in touch with my friends and coworkers now in hand. The client will be available for download in about a month.

As I continue to work with many Google Talk partners, I'm thrilled to see so many rich ideas and innovations from the developer community. It's so rewarding to work on a product that begins with solid vision and broadens as a result of the community's creativity. I look forward to seeing what we can continue to achieve together.

Mary Himinkool
New Business Development

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Google Talk at CES

Hope you had a great holiday season Talk fans!

If you are planning to attend CES this week, drop by the Google Talk booth and say hello! We are located in the Google booth (#36232 in South Hall 4 of the Las Vegas Convention Center).

We will have some cool demos of Google Talk and other products. Also, don't miss Larry Page's keynote on Friday (January 6) at 4pm in the theater at the Las Vegas Hilton.

Mike Jazayeri
Product Manager

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