Google seems to be getting its lunch handed to it in a very lucrative front in its battle with chief rival Microsoft.
According to some figures Microsoft released today, in January 20 million or so people made a phone call using either Microsoft's MSN Messenger instant messaging feature, or its heir apparent Live.com. Also that month, the two Internet features hosted a record-setting total of 800 million minutes of phone calls, and 1.1 billion minutes of video calls.
Google's never provided much detail about Google Talk, its instant messenger/Web phone. So it's tough to make a side-by-side comparison.
But common sense, and some anecdotal evidence, suggests Google can't even be close.
Now add to the mix how Microsoft is exploring even more ways of making money out of these features, as Microsoft Vice President Blake Irving made clear during a presentation at today's VON 2006 conference in San Jose, Calif.
Advantage Microsoft on this front, it seems.