I don't know if the rumours are true, but is coming on the air the voice that Google could appear on the Instant Messaging world with a new proper Instant Messaging service based on the open Jabber protocol.
I'm a real fan of the Jabber protocol (I'm a Jabber user and it's not only a simple IM Protocol...) and if a giant like Google is planning to adopt it for a new IM service, this could be the start point for a real protocol diffusion.
Obviously, there are lots of good IM Client out (like MSN, Yahoo Messenger, ICQ etc.) so it will not be simple to attract people on a new IM product, but the open nature of Jabber could be the key for a success (you could easily build new services or a personal IM Client, you could easy interact with the IM service and integrate it with your applications for example).
We've only to wait the Google movements... personally I hope that these projects could be realized soon, I'm really curious to see the new GIM or Joogle (maybe??? ) in action...