Guess what: Google is talking. And, they are saying Client Choice, Service Choice, Platform Choice.
Any client that supports Jabber/XMPP can connect to the Google Talk service. There's service interoperability, and there's platform interoperability. This is about real standards - (not like "Ajax" which is about marketing hype).
You can read up on Google's "Talk Posture" here. Now the Talk service may not make Google any real money. It's really hard to measure.
But, you know what? Google has clout, and I bet it certainly just woke up the worldwide developer community. Microsoft, are you "listening"?
Allow me to explain: The lines are drawn between two protocols working their way through the IETF standards body: the SIP (Session Initiation Protocol)-based SIMPLE (SIP for Instant Messaging and Presence Leveraging Extensions) and the open-source, XML-based protocol XMPP ( eXtensible Messaging and Presence Protocol). Vendors are hoping to choose the correct side of the market's eventual shakeout. IBM and Microsoft are in the SIP/SIMPLE camp. Google is in the XMPP camp.
Because the SIMPLE protocol is still incomplete, IBM's and Microsoft's implementations have required the addition of proprietary extensions to make their offerings work. XMPP's proponents contend it is more mature than SIMPLE and better suited to handle IM and presence awareness.
XMPP was built from the ground up as a an open-source signaling protocol for messaging, tapping an XML streaming technology that is optimized for real-time data exchange, according to the Jabber Software Foundation.
Some experts feel at this point that In the end, the industry will most likely rally behind a standard that blends both protocols, likely be a hybrid of XMPP, propriety ideas, and some generic work in IETF around SIP and SIMPLE.
This all sounds familiar, doesn't it? We had this with SOAP, with XSLT, CSS-2, and several other "growing pains" standards.
Bottom line? Standards are good for everybody - the big folks, and the little folks too. And, they come a lot faster when people stop screaming "Me, Me!" and start talking to each other.
But in the VOIP business , the real toll collector's position is still going to be held by the people who control the termination of all these VOIP calls into the PSTN at the local Telco's C.O. and it comes out of the copper wire in your house and makes your old fashioned phone ring. Trust me.