Yesterday, November 11, 2008 Google launched a new feature for Google Talk - Voice & Video conversations. I was elated when I discovered this ant the greatest thing of all is that it's free!
Not all my colleagues have a Skype accounts but a lot of them use Gmail and this new feature with Google Talk will allow us to keep in contact. I also have clients I meet with frequently and this is a way to cut down on my traveling expenses. We can now talk face to face or call each other.
To enable this feature though you have to install a plugin after which you will restart you web browser and should notice a video icon when you login to your Gmail account. Simple start the Voice & Vide conversation by selecting video & more the invite to voice/video chat.
The beauty about this new feature is that it's compliant with internet standards such as XMPP, RTP, and H.264. This means that third-party applications such as iChat can be used to manage and access these new features. Unfortunately there is no version for linux users just yet.
I predict that some where down the line Google will add features that allow users to do presentations and share documents similar to the features of Mac OS X - Leopard, integrating Google Docs.