Google has taken a huge leap forward with their latest announcement to integrate Google Chat with Gmail. I’ve be saying for some time that with all of the social software and networks, we still lack an open-standard for both identity management and voice/video communications. Since Google Chat runs on the Jabber/XMPP protocol it makes it much easier for a variety of chat applications to work together with the product.
I’d like to eventually see this integrated into social networks and desktop email clients. The problem is that so many people (including us) already use proprietary standards for chat (Yahoo, MSN, AOL, Skype, etc). However, I think that Google’s decision to use open standards will influence some change in the industry.