Thoughts about the Google and eBay cooperation announcement

– from a hardware accessory vendor perspective

Click to see the official announcement

Will it make a hardware accessory vendors’ life any easier?

No. The possible interpreter that would be coming for Skype and Google Talk will just work on a software-to-software level, but not to the hardware made for one software application but not the other. The hardware accessory vendors will still need to cope with different standards set by Skype and Google Talk for their products, especially if they want extra features – call/hang-up buttons, up/down navigation buttons, or number pads on the USB phone – to work.

We currently see that one of the accessory vendors, Yealink, has already spent the time needed to make their products compatible for both Skype and Goggle Talk and they have published supporting software/firmware for their products, specially designed for each program (Skypemate for Skype, GoogleTalkMate for Google Talk). Users need to run the appropriate version of software if they want to use Yealink’s product with Skype or Google Talk.

Wanting to display your online Google Talk buddy list on your Skype USB phone, or vise versa?

There are several ways to have your contact list show up on the device. One way is that Skype and Google Talk can add a field in their contact list database structure to index the user account information within the other program. The USB phone can then get the contact list from the program it logs into, no matter if it logs into Skype or Google Talk. Another method could be that Skype and Google Talk need to generate a procedure to let users retrieve their contact list without logging-into their account, then the USB phone can go through that same procedure to get the contact list from the other program, which it is not currently logging into.

There aren’t many Google Talk-compatible devices currently out on the market. Will this cooperation announcement encourage the accessory vendors to build more GoogleTalk devices?

Yes and no. Actually, before the announcement was made, the Skype accessory vendors had already checked into the possibility of supporting Google Talk. Additionally, Google Talk has also secured a deal with the D-Link group, to design a Wi-Fi phone (See the news announcement here) . The buzz will definitely arouse more interest. However, Google Talk needs to do more. For starters, they can offer the same services that Skype is doing right now, such as the Skype hardware certify program, online accessory store, and distribution channels for accessories to move into different regions.

Click to see can Skype USB phones work with Google Talk

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