Martin Atkins (mart) wrote in apparentlymart,
Martin Atkins
mart
apparentlymart

Google sneaking Jabber into ISPs

Snuck in at the bottom of Google Apps for your Domain is a link to a page inviting ISPs and portal services to partner with Google to provide services to customers. This seems to basically be a weird flavour of Google Apps for your Domain but with ISPs offering the service to their customers: each customer of the ISP gets an email account that's basically GMail and Google Talk service, but in their ISP's domain rather than under googlemail.com.

Google doesn't seem to be making a big deal about this, but they are actually doing something rather cool here: they are making it very easy for ISPs to offer a Jabber service to their customers. Jabber accounts being a standard feature of an ISP's service is a holy grail for Jabber; its architecture is very similar to email, but where email has always been a standard offering when you sign up for Internet access Jabber has always been rather... specialist.

By coincidence, my mother's ISP has signed up to partner with Google. I actually had a conversation with my mother over Jabber, using a client of my choice and a JID in my own domain, without her knowing the first thing about what Jabber is. She was using the web-based client built into the GMail UI, which made it as easy as clicking on my name (after I initiated a roster-subscription handshake -- because my email address != my JID -- but that's my fault, not Jabber's or Google's) and saying hello.

If Google has some success with this partnering scheme, it could be incredibly good for Jabber. Props to Google for making this happen, even though they don't seem to be trying to take much credit for it.

Tags: google, jabber, xmpp
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