Earlier this week, Google announced that Google Chat logs would be available in GMail, and that chatting itself would soon be possible as well. And a day or two later, it was. I haven’t used it much - Sharon’s about the only person I ever see on there, and she’s always on AIM anyway - but I’m expecting more people will start making use of it.
Like Rho, for example. Her away message during the day usually says she’s at work and can’t chat, but e-mails are welcome. This morning when I was checking my mail, she was one of the two people online in Google Chat.
A lot of companies block the ports used by AIM, MSN, Yahoo Messenger, and the like. There are ways around it, of course, but a lot of people in a business environment aren’t aware of (or capable of) doing it, so simply blocking the ports takes a significant chunk out of messenger usage. How long will it be before offices start blocking access to GMail too? I have to wonder if Google even considered the effect this could have on GMail usage; the first tab in any Firefox window I’m using is always GMail, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
Thankfully, my office is laid back and we’re all on AIM all day anyway, so it won’t be an issue for me, but I’d be willing to bet that people will be losing e-mail access any day now