Sometimes, that back-and-forth typing of an IM chat just isn't working for you in a way that a voice conversation or face-to-face meeting might.
Today, Google launched video and voice chat for Gmail - not necessarily a ground-breaking feature but somewhat different from other models because the feature is built into the Gmail inbox window, instead of a separate application. I can already conduct a voice and video chat through services such as Yahoo Messenger - but only in the separate downloaded-and-installed Messenger client.
- Also see: Gmail launching voice and video chat!
Skype also has a similar feature - but, again, Skype is a downloaded client and not Web-based. Where Skype kicks it up a notch is the ability to connect those voice conversations with regular phones - a feature that costs a few extra pennies.
While the Gmail voice and video chat features are built into the Gmail window, there is a one-time download-and-install of a plug-in that allows the feature to run within Gmail. It's compatible with PCs and Macs.
The rollout just started today so the feature might not be available in your Gmail account yet - but if you want to fast-forward the install, click here to install the plug-in.