Oh No! Google Talk for Windows Ends Feb. 16

google talk shutting down

Google chat users who’ve been holdouts against Hangouts have probably hoped this day would never come.

But recently, the company notified fans of the Windows version of Google Talk (affectionately known as Gtalk) about Google Talk shutting down as of Feb. 16.

The message (see the image above)  sent out to users on Feb. 4 via the Google Talk platform said simply:

“Google Talk app for Windows will stop working on Feb. 16 2015. It is replaced by the new Hangouts Chrome app. Install the Hangouts app from http://goo.gl/yglfk6.”

So this means small business owners and others who have used the Windows download version of Google Talk for collaboration need to find another option after Feb. 16 .

In order to use Google instant messaging after that date, users must install the Google+ Hangouts app through the Chrome Web browser. See the video below:

There will still be a native version of the IM app available when users are signed into the Gmail on their  computers.

Chats in Google Drive are not impacted by the announcement, either. These chat forums allow collaborations in real-time on documents, spreadsheets, presentations and other projects created within Drive.

Google warned it planned retiring the Windows version of Google Talk way back in December of 2013. At the time, the company predicted the shut down might happen as early as February 2014. But apparently Google chose to delay the time table by an entire year.

So Google Talk fans benefited from that delay by having the app to use almost a whole extra year. But Google stopped updating security for Gtalk and it blocked all new downloads of the app.

Instead, Gtalk hopefuls were directed to the Hangouts app download page.

For whatever reason, some Google users never made the switch from Gtalk to the IM relaunch of Hangouts.

A report at TechWorm.net notes that Google Talk was a savior for owners of entry-level, low-memory smartphones. It’s demands on a smartphone are far less than Hangouts.

Hangouts is now one of Google’s most marketed products. It features voice and video conferencing, instant messaging, and file sharing in a professional but casual platform.

Google markets Hangouts for small businesses to use as a video conferencing and marketing platform, too.

Image: Google

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Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Editor for Small Business Trends and the Head of Content Partnerships. A journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional and online media, he is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press, covering his hometown.

10 Reactions
  1. It is not that bad because Hangouts works pretty much in the same way.

  2. My only real gripe is that apparently this will take the Pidgin/Trillian/Miranda compatibility with it. Back to the era of having to run more than one messenger client. Thought we’d *finally* gotten that worked out of our systems.

  3. We have an alternative that works better than Google Voice when it comes to VoIP calling. It’s not free like GV but it’s so inexpensive and carries the best value.

    Vestalink voip service will meet your needs. It’s almost a drop-in replacement for Google Voice. ( http://www.vestalink.com/topic/google-voice-replacement-phone-service )

    Vestalink works on Android and Apple devices as well as OBi’s and any other device that uses SIP. It rings all your phones at once if you want it to, has E911 service, and lots of nice call treatments and privacy options.
    It allows you to spoof your outgoing call number to match any other phone number you own. You will love it. 🙂

  4. We in UAE were using GTalk with TringMe’s calling service. TringMe also allows you to make international calls using gtalk. We will not be able to use them now from gtalk.

  5. One issue that I see, especially for businesses is that they may not want to install another browser. From the link above Hangouts is a Google Chrome add on.
    Also, GTalk is a nice clean, light weight instant messager. It just does the job nicely. From the quick look at Hangouts it just made me think of Facebook which I avoid. It tends to be very graphical and picture oriented rather than clean

    • I agree. We’ve been using gtalk at work for this very reason. We don’t want or need the extra social crap, just an easy way to send words to each other. Its not a big amount of overhead, but compared to gtalk it takes more resources to run which adds more burden to older systems. No, its not much, but every program is that way these days, little extra here, little extra there, it adds up.
      I guess they looked at the numbers and there was enough hold-out users to justify the extra year, and I appreciate it.
      Now I have to really take a look at Hangouts, see how it works in our environment. I wonder if its time to host our own IM server internally….

  6. Would have taken a whole minute to update Google talk to give a warning that it has been discontinued rather then telling me I have a wrong password and nearly giving me a heart attack, to much to ask I guess.

  7. I enjoyed GTalk, it was simple, and easy to use.
    I find hangouts cumbersome, an not user friendly at all.
    I have now decided to just forget about chat through Google, and stick to skype.
    We the few who loved GTalk didn’t mind that it was out dated, it just worked.
    Hangouts is a mission, and really annoying.

  8. I hate “hangouts” application…
    …and my win Google Talk app is still running (as of 05-Mar-2015) – until the next PC restart.
    IM protocol they use in GT is Jabber – any ideas _how_ they blocked GT authorization to their IM service?
    because GT win app still works, so may be somebody can unblock authorization on IM protocol level?

  9. Google Talk and Google hangouts are mainly used for social and casual interactions. For business meetings, I would recommend using more professional tools like webex, R-HUB web video conferencing servers, gomeetnow, gotomeeting etc. They work well.