Gmail Voice and Video Chat - Too Little too Late?
Today Google released a plug-in to allow Debian-based distros video and chat capabilities through Gmail accounts. Two years after the Windows and Mac releases, one has to wonder if it might be too little too late.
Google chat packages are available for Ubuntu (and possibly other Debian-based distros) with RPMs slated for the future possibly for openSUSE, Fedora, and Mandriva. The browser plug-in is built using mostly Web standards such as XMPP, RTP, and H.264. Interested users can download the plug-in here.. Once downloaded, quit all browsers and install the plug-in. Next sign into your Gmail account and look for a camera icon beside your contact's name. You can then click on "Start Video Chat" to begin using the service. Even if your friend doesn't have a camera, Google states you can still have voice chat.
After waiting two years for the service, most Linux users that want video chat capabilities are probably already using Skype or something similar by now. The next few weeks will tell for sure, but this service may not be of much interest to Linux users anymore anyway.
Susan Linton is a Linux writer and the owner of tuxmachines.org.
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