Well here we go. I just read on the Google Talk Blog that Google is going to be expanding their Videoconferencing capabilities in the very near future to include multipoint calling (multiple participants in one call). This isn’t a surprise as Google is always moving in the right direction it seems. The interesting thing is how Google deploys the technology. Instead of building a separate application for you to use separately from your other business applications, Google is keeping in nestled within these applications to make it easier to use. If you think about it, this is a great way to spread the promise of video communications. As most VTC pro’s already know, collaboration tools are necessary with any type of videoconferencing setup. Established companies likePolycom, LifeSize & Tandberg offer ways to share content as well as video. However, actually “collaborating” on that content is limited to whoever is sending the content. Both sides don’t have the capability of manipulating the same data. It really isn’t collaboration at all actually. It is more like sharing your screen and letting people see it. Because Google is adding Video chat as a sort of “layer” within their other applications, the collaboration piece is already there. I think this part alone makes the offering that much more appealing. By placing videoconferencing capabilities within Gmail specifically, it is putting video right in your inbox – still the most widely used business application by far.
Of course, Video chat within Google is still just that. Video “Chat”. However, like I’ve posted on before, Google is using Scalable Video Coding (SVC) technology from Vidyo that will give them all sorts of ways to tie in more traditional videoconferencing models including HD & Room based systems common among corporations. Given that Video Chat will just be part of the Google Apps Suite, it is just one more reason to switch away from Microsoft in my opinion.