Google Talk based on Jabber
There were speculations for a long time that Google will release free instant messaging (IM) client of their own. It appears that rumors have become reality. They have just released a beta version of Google Talk. And what I find the best about it is that they smartly decided to use a free and open IM standard called XMPP, which is known to most of you as Jabber. This means that you will be free to use any Jabber client you like the most (for example Kopete, GAIM, Psi, Miranda IM and many more) with their service. And if you have GMail (or some other Google account) you can already do so. Check out these instructions. Moreover, you are also free to use any existing public Jabber server with Google Talk or even set up one yourself. The new client is also conveniently integrated with your GMail e-mail account. You can also actually talk with your buddies like you can do using the popular Skype. Google also promised to provide fully documented support for video conferencing in the future.