A Coors Field home-run club member writes "i found the google talk developer page interesting, http://www.google.com/talk/developer.html. They talk of not only SIPPhone but also Eartlink VLing... I guess they figure if they can get IM traffic going through their servers then they can make it searchable and serve ads. Also interesting that is is only available to users with a gmail ID, which is also in Beta, so they have a nice cascading set of beta tests that are self-contained so that they can feed product changes downstream and always build on what they did before.
It will be interesting to see how many people decide to switch and what their incentive will be to do so.
An open standard is effectively irrelevant if you control both endpoints, which is why it never bothered AOL and doesn't bother Skype, but I wonder how that plays into this notion of a federation if the federation only takes these smaller purists using open standards and excludes the big three.
This one will be fun to watch!