February 6, 2006 9:00 PM PST

Google merges Gmail with chat

Google on Monday was set to launch Gmail Chat, which will let users send instant messages with one click from their e-mail account, see when contacts are online and save the chat history like an e-mail message.
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Video: Google's new version of Gmail
CNET News.com reporter Elinor Mills explains how to use some of its new features.

The application's Quick Contacts list is synchronized with a user's Google Talk friends list and automatically displays the people a user communicates with most frequently and shows their online status. Clicking on a contact listed as being online opens a chat window in the browsers.

The application lets users save their chat history for easy searching later and click an "off the record" option so that no conversation with that person going forward is saved by either party until they choose to go back on the record.

Gmail Chat is available on Internet Explorer 6.0 and higher and Firefox 1.0 and higher and in the U.S. English interface only.

While the chat functions of Google Talk are integrated into Gmail, users must download the Google Talk client application to make voice calls.

In the United States, Gmail is the fourth most popular Web-based e-mail program, and Google Talk is ranked seventh among instant messaging programs, according to Nielsen/NetRatings.

Yahoo Mail indicates to users when their Yahoo Messenger contacts are online and allows them to launch a dialog with them instantly, as well as letting them make voice calls. It also allows users to check their voice mail and launch voice calling from Yahoo Mail. America Online's AIM Triton offers integrated e-mail, instant messaging, SMS text messaging and voice and video chat.

See more CNET content tagged:
Gmail, Google Talk, contact, Yahoo! Mail, Time Warner Inc.

25 comments

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WHATS THE BIGGG DEAL?
Come on guys, enough is enough. There is no need to blow the trumpet every time Google adds a feature - people can see online status of buddies in the inbox - whoa, what an achievement!!

if you cry wolf, people will ignore it when Google really does something really cool.
Posted by redrasys123 (7 comments )
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CNET became very biased
Instead of reporting on thing that brings value to comsumers, they are reporting on everything that Google does or any litle bug that Microsoft does, they even reported litle bug in beta preview like IE7.
Posted by TanNg (31 comments )
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It's a tech site...
Cnet is a tech site, if you want to read about who Jennifer Lopez is dating...go read People.
Posted by anarchyreigns (299 comments )
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Re: Big Deal...
The fact that Gmail is still in BETA and people may have overlooked it due to lack of functions...this story brings a new light to what Google is doing.

I'm sure C|net would trumpet any company that has the market share of search that Google has and is trying to branch out from that....when Altavista comes back to dominate (??) I'm sure we would see bigger stories on them ;)

I find it interesting that the chat doesn't work in https mode...hmm maybe a hit at CustomizeGoogle for Firefox and it doesn't play well with Ad Block for Firefox...hmm another hit?
Posted by KsprayDad (375 comments )
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Read the article again
Granted, the article doesn't do a very good job calling attention to the most interesting and potentially useful aspect of this new feature, but it's more than seeing your buddy list, it's browser-based IM. Yeah, AIM has had something like this for a while, but now gmail has it.
Posted by converter42 (10 comments )
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Google is one o fthe biggest players in IT
When Google do something it is important.
Maybe not to every individual, but over time what they do will affect us all.

Look at their mapping services.
Google World.
AdSense - lets small websites make a bit of money
AdWords - allows small business a more cost effective marketing option.

Now look at who else is offering services like these.
Posted by ahickey (177 comments )
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Interesting...
"In the United States, Gmail is the fourth most popular Web-based e-mail program, and Google Talk is ranked seventh among instant messaging programs, according to Nielsen/NetRatings."

Not bad at all considering they're both still in beta and were introduced when the email and im markets seemed full. Congrats Google.
Posted by PCCRomeo (432 comments )
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Fourth in email and IM?
Can Cnet tell us number of Gmail and Google talk users. They wont do because those numbers is so small compared to others, use word "FOURTH" is better way to lie readers.
Posted by TanNg (31 comments )
Link Flag
Agreed
These feature releases are barely putting Google/Gmail at parity with competitors. Yahoo Mail has tons more features than Gmail has, and that's why it has the lead. I think the media became accustomed to treating Google as an underdog and still cheers every time they do something that gets them a step closer to parity.
Posted by rkminc (8 comments )
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Well said.
You have hit it right on the target.
Posted by Dean_Ansari (61 comments )
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off the record? hmm.....
sounds like just another feature tha t can help people chat easier. go google
Posted by naterandrews (256 comments )
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MSN Explorer, et. al.
So, Google just caught up to MSN Explorer (not tied to MSN service) of 5 years ago, as well as dozens of other applications that do this? No, I'm not saying MSN Explorer was first or best, there were many before MS...
Posted by KTLA_knew (385 comments )
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Other side of the coin
With all of the interconnectivity between their services does anyone else se the potential for Google to become the next huge virus pipeline to the world's computers?
Posted by Michael Grogan (308 comments )
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FastFW.com is cool
check it out, it's a total new way to manage and send unlimited message size emails
Posted by pilozoe (1 comment )
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Message has been deleted.
Posted by Dean_Ansari (61 comments )
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Anakooks
Please stop trying to get free adverts on C|net...
Posted by KsprayDad (375 comments )
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