Google Talk to take on SkypeOut?

Since its introduction a couple of years ago, Google Talk has remained relatively low key compared to other instant messaging and voice-over-IP solutions. However, according to a report on the Search Engine Journal, the software could be about to make headlines again. The site says members of the Google Blogoscoped forums spotted a screenshot on a Google apps resources overview page that shows a rather interesting new feature on a Google Talk window: a dial pad.

According to the Search Engine Journal, the screenshot may be evidence of a brewing attempt by Google to compete with Skype's SkypeOut service, which allows Skype users to call land lines and cell phones from their computers. Google could potentially undercut SkypeOut's fees, either by supporting it via advertising or by offering users discounts if they pay with Google Checkout. Google might even use voice recognition to deliver context-based ads a la GMail, the report speculates.

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