A Google spokesperson confirmed May 15 that Google’s instant messaging application, Google Talk, will be standard on a new version of the Nokia 770 wireless tablet to be unveiled this week in Stockholm, Sweden.
The fact that the Google Talk software is to show up inside a device from Nokia, the No. 1 cell phone maker, is very significant to Google. The firm’s been trying much harder lately to make its features available to cell phones, and nothing could be better towards this goal than a Nokia partnership.
The Nokia/Google partnership also seems to be the start of a new wave of cell phone-focused and more specifically Internet-telephony-focused moves, according to some recent comments by Google CEO Eric Schmidt.
A Nokia spokesperson said Google Talk is the only instant messaging app on board the device, for now. But the company’s been in talks with “major instant messaging” communities so Nokia 770 owners will be able to download IM apps other than Google Talk.
The competing IM apps could be on board as soon as late June, when Nokia plans to make available a new version of the underlying software that supports instant messaging.
The Google/Nokia partnership is very beneficial to Google, despite Nokia signalling that it will allow competing IM apps on board the 770 device. After all, Google Talk will be preloaded, so there’s no intertia factor to overcome. Meanwhile other IM apps must be downloaded.
There’s also the seeming promise of future appearances of Google features in other Nokia devices, a big step for Google and its cell phone ambitions.
Google and other IM makers benefit from the 770 device because it doesn’t use a cellular network. Rather, it uses high-speed Internet connections from Wi-Fi wireless networks.
Phone calling is still possible using VOIP (voice over IP), which is freely available software for making phone calls using an Internet connection.
Google Talk and other IM apps all include a VOIP feature. Boosting its share of the VOIP market is becoming more of a focus at Google. The latest surveys show Google has about 2.5 percent of the U.S. VOIP market, dead last among major IM players.