As predicted by the Google Operating System blog (no connection to this blog), Google Talk in Gmail has 'integrated' with AIM.
As per the Official Gmail blog, this feature is only available to Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 2 users. In other words, it is only available in the new version Gmail.
Also, you need to login to AIM through Gmail chat, to be able to see your AIM buddies and interact with them. That means, this is not true cross interaction between the GTalk system and AIM system. Gmail is just providing another interface for the AIM system via the Open AIM framework. An example of true interaction between different instant messaging platforms is Yahoo! Messenger users being able to chat with Windows Live Messenger users without needing an MSN / Live ID.
I have a few questions for Google / Gmail / GTalk team:
1. Two years after first announcing that GTalk and AIM will communicate, the best you could do is just give a Gmail chat interface for AIM users? What was the roadblock for giving us true interaction between the two messaging platforms?
2. If you are just going to build Gmail / GTalk interface to other instant messaging platforms, and require the users to explicitly login to that platform, why not provide similar interfaces to Yahoo! Messenger and Windows Live Messenger? Connecting to Yahoo! Messenger and Windows Live Messenger would have been a bigger offering to your users, considering the much larger number of people who are already on these other systems. If the small Meebo.com team could do it (very nicely), surely you can do it too?
3. What about the GTalk desktop client? When is it going to see some much needed upgrade?
[via Official Gmail blog]