I just managed to download Google Talk Labs Edition. And it looks like I have got what I have been waiting for – for a long, long time! I had almost started feeling that all development work on Google Talk had stopped, until I heard about “Google Talk Goes Green” and then the “Labs Edition”.
The executable file is only about 300kb, but it downloads more setup files when you run the installation. The installation should be a breeze (a couple of minutes) and is a no-brainer. And you logon and see the very familiar interface of the very popular Gtalk Gadget. The overall interface is clean and clutter-free and just the way you expect Gtalk to be! And yes, the Labs Edition does come with all the much-craved features of the gadget like Group Chat, ‘cool’ emoticons and much more built into a desktop client. It gives notifications from Orkut, Gmail and Google Calendar as well. I particularly like the notification thingy from Google Calendar. I use Google Calendar extensively, but get most of the alerts by SMS..that can be a hassle at times – getting too many of those. As opposed to that, the notifications on Gtalk will be much less intrusive, I guess.
The only thing that baffles me completely is the name “Labs Edition” – what the heck!!