Rumors were rampant yesterday about Google's plans to launch a VoIP-enabled instant-messaging service. Today Google made it official with the unveiling of Google Talk beta. As rumored, Google Talk is based on Jabber, an open-source standard capable of federated messaging, allowing users connect to other Jabber-based IM services, such as Trillian Pro and Apple's iChat. Unfortunately, Google Talk won't allow you to chat with or call many of the most popular IM clients, such as , , , or Skype. In its current form, Google Talk beta also lacks many of the powerful features offered by more mature instant messengers, such as video chat (supported by Yahoo's service) and conference calling (supported by Skype). Still, the recent increase in VoIP-enabled IM is proof positive that VoIP continues to change the nature of telephony for the masses.