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Google: Weak XMPP support, capabilities led us to proprietary tech in Hangouts

Juan Carlos Perez | May 27, 2013
The company is catching flak for its decision to build its new IM and audio/video chat service without support for the XMPP standard

Google announced Hangouts at its I/O developer conference last week, and presented it as the future main service for chats, audio calls and video meetings across all Google services and devices. It will replace Google Chat, Google Talk and Google Plus Messenger.

"Yes, Hangouts will be the single, unified messaging service for Google," the spokeswoman reiterated via email.

The XMPP Standards Foundation didn't immediately respond to a request for comment, but its executive director Peter Saint-Andre, a technical leader at Cisco, engaged in Twitter discussions about the issue during I/O, saying at one point: "Google can stop supporting XMPP, but it's impossible for them to kill it. That's the beauty of distributed technologies!"

Meanwhile, the EFF is encouraging Google to make its Hangouts protocol public and interoperable. "Releasing the specifications for Google Hangouts would be a good first step. Releasing free/open source clients and servers should follow," Higgins wrote.

 

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