As Google killed off its Windows Google Talk client, it was feared the web giant would soon drop Google Talk support completely – in hope of forcing everyone over to Hangouts.
The death of the Windows desktop app was seen was a signal that Google will, in the near future, axe Google Talk for all XMPP-based clients, not just Google Talk's Windows app. It had earlier warned: "Hangouts will replace Google Talk and does not support XMPP."
Hangouts uses proprietary technology known only to Google, whereas Google Talk uses XMPP, an open protocol born from Jabber. This means Google Talk can be used by many non-Google apps such as Pidgin, Adium and Apple Messages.
It was unclear whether Google would cut off all Google Talk clients while shifting everyone over to Hangouts. In fact, the whole situation was downright confusing, possibly a sign that Google wasn't quite sure how to best coax people onto Hangouts.
Now Mayur Kamat, product manager for Google Voice and Hangouts, has said the Google Talk servers will continue to support XMPP, allowing all XMPP chat clients to continue nattering away on Google Talk.
"If you’re not ready to make the switch to Hangouts quite yet, you can continue using Google Talk on Windows with a range of compatible third-party chat apps. Please keep in mind these aren’t Google products, so exercise caution when signing in with your Google account," said Kamat on Google+. We were pointed to his post by Google PR after we asked about the state of Google Talk support.
The ad slinger said it would end support of its nine-year-old Windows GTalk application on February 16 – that's now been pushed back to the 23rd. Effectively, Google is saying: use Hangouts, or use Google Talk and your own damn software.
Google has made no secret of its desire to elbow users out of Google Talk and into Hangouts. The US biz said in 2012 it would be working to get users over to Hangouts – which supports modern stuff like video conferencing. ®