Google Talk is Google's instant messaging application available through your Gmail@Valpo account. There are two versions of this application. The first, Google Chat, is embedded in your Gmail@Valpo account. The second is a separate application that you can download and install on your local Windows computer. Either version makes it easy for you to instant message staff and students at the university as well as external colleagues and friends. You can see who else from your list of contacts is online (their presence). If you have a webcam, you can also use this for video chat in addition to text chat
Gmail's chat features and the downloadable Google Talk application are very similar in functionality. Both Gmail and the Google Talk client let you connect to the Google Talk network, which is made up of millions of people who use the Google Talk IM product, or a service that supports open server-to-server federation.
Google Talk offers some additional customization options, including making Gmail the default mail handler on your computer and providing notifications of incoming mail to your account. On its own, Gmail chat allows you to talk to people from directly within Gmail. If you're signed into the Google Talk application in the background, Gmail will also allow you to make free voice calls from your friends' profile cards. Currently, Google Talk works only with Windows XP or Vista.
Google Chat does have a few features that Google Talk does not offer: video chat, invisible mode, and group chat.
For answers to common questions related to Google Chat or Talk, please click the FAQ's link at the left. For additional assistance, please contact the IT Help Desk (webhelpdesk.valpo.edu, firstname.lastname@example.org, or 219.464.5678).