Google isn’t on the map when it comes to messaging, but all that could be about to change with the integration of a chat window in Gmail browser windows, eliminating the need to access two separate programs.
Gmail users will be able to chat with other Google account holders, with the ability to save the identities of regular contacts online. It will also be possible to archive conversations. All subscribers to Gmail will see Gmail Chat within two to three weeks.
The move is being seen as a way of steering traffic to Google’s six-month-old Google Talk service, which currently has less than a million subscribers, in comparison to the the 53 million who use AOL and 27 million who have MSN for instant messaging.