GTalk or Bust

Time for a little social study i think.

Starting on Monday, the only instant messenger i will be using is Googletalk. But why switch from MSN to Google? Practically all of my contacts/friends in the real world use MSN, they have done usually because their friends told them to, and so they settled for it. And up to now i have had to settle for it in some form or another.

Either using MSN Messenger on my pc… currently using 50mb of Ram with one window open, its a bloated, hideous and ad filled. Opening two conversations takes up my whole screen and there are so many pointless features like customisable backgrounds and winks!

Or i could use an alternative Client like Gaim, but then you still have to use the MSN protocol to speak to people which is again fat and bloated, takes 4 times as long as yahoo or google to sign in and often leaves messages undelivered and signs you out without warning.

I can only put up with terrible software for so long before i have to change, and google talk is the perfect replacement for me; Lightweight (5mb of ram with one window open), small, clean, fast and simple. Its also intergrated into my Gmail account so even if im on a computer without google talk i can still use it just by surfing to my Gmail.

The only 2 things that i can see that i will be loosing are display pictures (I know what my friends look like already!) and file transfer, although the file transfer in MSN is useless with an file bigger than 1mb.

Now its just a case of will i have anyone to talk to!

I currently have 22 contacts on MSN and 10 on GTalk, I usually talk to about 7 people on a daily basis, 4 of which already have Gmail accounts, so it shouldnt be too hard to switch the other 3, but i dont think that anyone else will bother to switch, they have too many people who have to many people that use MSN and it wont be easy to get every idiot to give up their custom smileys and display pictures.

I like to think of this as a mini verison of the battle Apple and to some extent Linux (half of the linux community dont want n00bs using linux) are going through to try and switch people from using Windows.
I’ll keep you posted about how it goes starting on monday.

*I’d also like to add that there is no offical mac client, but as gtalk is based on the jabber protocol, so you can log into it via AdiumX and iChat, and gaim on Linux.

If you dont have a Gmail account, just ask, i have 100 Invites. You can download Google Talk here


24 thoughts on “GTalk or Bust”

  1. I’m starting to prefer googletalk over msn as well… Especially since I have been using Gaim for quite a while and decided to open msn messenger 7.5 once more, man that thing is terrible, it just reminded me why I switched to Trillian and later to Gaim in the first place… Allthough some of the features in msn messenger do work better than in Gaim. Features like filetransfer, video-/audiochat either don’t work or don’t work properly in Gaim.
    But I figured that e-mailing with gmail is a way faster and more reliable way of sending files than through msn anyway.
    Googletalk may not feature filetransfers, but it has gmail for that and like I already said, this works very well.
    Also audiochatting works way better in googletalk than in msn messenger, it only lacks videochatting.
    Another good thing about googletalk would be, imho, that it doesn’t feature nicknames. It just uses your first name as a screenname (your firstname that you configured in gmail, so it can still be altered). No more trouble with seeing who that “name” is that you’ve never seen before. I have several msn contacts that change their name multiple time per day. I do change it every now and then, but I leave the first part always the same, so people always know that it’s me without having to check which e-mail addy is behind it.
    And I love the simplicity of googletalk, lightweight, simple interface and it’s bloody fast.

  2. Personally I will always use MSN. I have 400 contacts, accumulated over a few years and when I’m not on the ‘Fox it’s what spend most of my time doing if I’m not doing anything else constructive.

    Gtalk is very sexy, I’ll agree, but although it succeedes in being simplistic to a degree, it goes over the top with absolutely no functions whatsoever. The conversations are ugly with only Arial blaring at you in swaythes. Names are only in bold.

    The worst part, aside from the lack of people who use it (rightly so) is the conversation windows themselves. When they’re small which fits in all the text they’re fiddly and you get distracted by everything else you’re viewing, and when they’re opened fully they look distorted and, to be honest — vile.

  3. the only thing that irritates me at the moment is that the size of the conversation windows. I don’t think they look distorted at all, but googletalk doesn’t save the size you set them too. They always start out on a size that isn’t usable. But keep in mind that it’s a beta and things like that are very likely to be changed int he future.
    I even prefer the use of a single font, I hate it when a conversation window is filled with different fonts. I even disabled fonts in my Gaim, so all text looks the same.
    And it does have all the features it needs to be a worthy instant messenger. MSN messenger has so many features I don’t even want to know about: winks, buzzers, nudges, animated emoticons, custom emoticons, advertisements (yes, that’s a feature), nonsense tabs, background images…

  4. One thing you didn’t mention is that Google is collecting all sorts of information on you. I am using Gtalk as well but i turned the chat history function off. I would prefer to have it offline on my computer where I am the only person having access to it!


    Jens if you download the latest version (1.086), they have already fixed the window size issue, it remembers what size you set it to now.

    I would also urge everyone to turn off the option to save your chat history, unless you dont mind google having a copy of everything you talk about, although lets not forget that every MSN conversation runs through MSNs servers and is likely to be saved as well.

    Napfisk, i sent you a gmail invitation, i think they are keeping it in beta at the moment whilst they improve Gtalk intergration.

  6. Let’s just say that whatever service you use, it is always logged in some way. Good thing is that the privacy policy of all of them (including MSN, GTalk, AIM, ICQ, whatever) states that they will never use any of the info you put into your messenger program, no matter what it is. Only if they might get a police warrant they could be in the need to give some of the info to them, but otherwise the privacy policies protect whatever you enter.
    Ofcourse, you can never be 100% sure that noone will see what you enter there, nor will you be sure that noone reads your e-mail unauthorized. As long as you send stuff over the net it will be readable by someone else, no matter what you do.

  7. Everyone who uses MSN becomes to faithful and reliant upon it, becuase everyone else uses it, and everyone on their contacts would be unwilling to switch. I know the gtalk is very quick, but pretty much all of my msn contacts are computer illiterate, and most havent even heard of Gmail, so it would be useless to get them to swtich. I might try Gaim and gtalk this summer see what thats like

  8. As you know atariboy I already made the jump just got to get my other 20 msn contacts to follow…I think threats are out of the question :P

  9. I have tried getting people to switch to GTalk with limited sucess. Most people I know have gotten spoiled with all the extra features (crap) that other clients have included. Currently I have only one friend that I have been able to talk into dropping MSN, AIM, and Yahoo in favor of GTalk. Gaim or Trillian are nice for multiple client use, but it would still be nice to just use GTalk.

    P.S. Stumbled across your site a few weeks ago and it has now become a daily read for me. One of the few I actually check on a regular basis. Keep up the good work

  10. As mentioned by Nick the Jabber (now called XMPP) protocol supports Transports that act as brindges between the various chat networks, the only problem with these is the other networks. What you usually find is that after a server get’s popular as a routing point the target network blocks it and you’re back to square one.

    Also I hate to say it but the MSN prootocol (and most of the others) are actaully much more efficent then XMPP. Using XML for the protocol has it’s advantages, but server load and bandwidth aren’t two of them. I’m a bit of an XMPP geek anyway, having written a couple of clients and a server or two :). XML is a nice idea, but too many people are starting to use it just because it’s XML It’s nasty to parse, full of pointless redundent junk and most of the APIs that deal with it are unfriendly to use.

    That said, MSN is anoying so the more people that use XMPP the better, it’s just a pity that it’s taken so long for the rest of the world to catch on ;).

  11. I love, i use it when ever i’m in uni.

    I now have 16 Gtalk contacts and have switched a number of people, all my geeky friends love the idea and a number of people who hadnt tried it before really like it.

    Russ: I dont know much about protocols and XMPP, but what i do know is that Gtalk signs in faster and looses less of my messages than MSN. It may be a better protocol, but they arnt using it very well.

  12. As some of you might know, I’m using bitlbee for IM communication. It has a totally text based interface. I can stand that, in fact I like that better than a graphical interface.
    I’m often using Internet at other peoples places, so wherever I can access PuTTY, I can access everfthing IM.
    I’m using just about all sorts of IM protocols there are. And doing it this way I can always access all of them no matter what software the computer has or hasn’t got installed.
    Besides this lets me keep logs of all conversations, and also access them anywhere. So I’m quite happy with this way of daing stuff.
    Btw, Atariboy, I’ll add you to GTalk if you don’t mind?

  13. 09:34am: Day 1 of Gtalk of bust begins…

    MSN is uninstalled and Gtalk is running beautifully.

    Lauren tells me she is having some issues with installing Gtalk, but her computer is tied up with Admins and Norton she cant do much without her mum there to sign in as admin.

    Already missed my first lecture of the week too!

  14. The decision to use a particular chat client is more often based on which one a person’s friends are already using than which one has better features. MSN definitely has an edge in this because it has been around for a longer time.

    But since Google provides GTalk interface on the gmail page as well, I think everyone using gmail will use Gtalk even if it doesn’t replace the MSN or yahoo messenger installed on the system for some time.

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