Google said on its Web site that it's committed to taking an "open federation" approach to instant messaging and Internet telephony, which means people on its networks can communicate with anyone on a system supporting XMPP.
By taking this step, Google hopes to move the industry "one step closer to making IM and Internet voice calling as ubiquitous as email," the company said, noting that XMPP is supported by Earthlink, Gizmo Project, Tiscali, Netease, Chikka, MediaRing, and "thousands of other ISPs, universities, corporations and individual users."
Missing, however, are rivals Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp. Neither of their IM or VoIP systems communicates with Google's.
But there has been movement among the competitors toward interoperability, primarily through alliances of self-interest.
Google and America Online Inc., which operates the largest IM network in the United States, have agreed to allow cross-communication. The deal was part of Google's agreement late last year to invest $1 billion in AOL, which is a unit of Time Warner Inc.
Microsoft and Yahoo have said they plan to let IM subscribers communicate across their IM and VoIP networks in the second quarter of this year. The combined networks in the U.S. would be close to the size of AOL's.
5 Top Federal Initiatives For 2015As InformationWeek Government readers were busy firming up their fiscal year 2015 budgets, we asked them to rate more than 30 IT initiatives in terms of importance and current leadership focus. No surprise, among more than 30 options, security is No. 1. After that, things get less predictable.