Google has announced a major update of Gmail, Today the Gmail team at Google has expanded its capabilities by including video and voice chat. In order to access Gmail Video and Voice Chat, users have to install a small (Voice and video) plug-in for their browser.
Gmail Voice and Video Chat was designed using Internet standards such as XMPP, RTP and H.264, making the Google program able to interact with separate, third-party applications, assuming those separate voice and video applications decide to allow Gmail’s offering to interact with them.
This new chat feature works on PCs with Windows XP or Vista, as well as with Mac OS X 10.4. The plugin works with all major browsers, including Google Chrome , Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari.
Installation is easy and only takes a few seconds to download the plug-in. Once the browser is restarted, a “Video and more” menu will appear at the bottom of the Gmail page. Go to the menu and select “start video chat.” It will take a few moments for the video call to connect with your friend
or other user.
Once the video and voice session is initiated, users can pop the window out of the Gmail interface, just like an Gchat instant message window.
By adding voice and video, Google is clearly against Skype, I find it very nice to have all major channels of communication (e-mail, chat, voice, video and SMS) in one place.