Google’s instant messaging application, Google Talk, will be coming standard with the latest Nokia 770 wireless tablet.
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’s better toward 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.
Google Talk will be the only IM app available on the device until late June. That’s when Nokia expects to have other major instant message providers on board the device as well.
To understand why which IM application is on or off the device is important, first consider that the 770 is not actually a phone. It doesn’t come with a cell phone connection, although one can be jury-rigged via the device’s Bluetooth wireless connection.
Rather, the 770 was built to access the Internet like a PC, and that means requiring a much faster Internet connection than a cell phone network can reliably offer. So, rather than cells, the 770 uses Wi-Fi networks.
That means someone looking to make phone calls will have to rely on VOIP (voice over IP), which is freely available software that allows users to make free phone calls over an Internet connection.
VOIP is standard in Google Talk, so if the instant messaging application is the only one aboard the 770, Google has an exclusive showcase to a very desirable audience of sophisticated technology users.
Some anaysts estimate Google’s got just a 2.5 percent share of the American VOIP market, far below Skype, arguably the leading VOIP operator.