Google has an active Jabber server, Google IM coming soon?

Thanks to OrangeSoul, Tom Servo, CarlNewton and bangbang023 for the heads up about this.

A recent New York Times story on the Google Sidebar had an interesting side note about an annoucement Wednesday of a new "communication tool" -- could this be the much speculated Google IM?

While executives would not disclose what the tool was, it has long been speculated that Google would introduce an IM service to compete with AOL, Yahoo, and MSN, and last year the rumor mill said that Google would use the open source Jabber protocol to power its product.

Inquisitive Neowin member Tom Servo, taking a hint from member CarlNewton tried to connect to using his Trillian client.

What he received was a secure XMPP (Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol, alternatively known as Jabber) server waiting for connections.

Could this be Google IM waiting to be unleashed? Since the server is using open source technology it'd be wonderful if anyone with a Jabber enabled chat client could use it (Trillian, GAIM, etc) and not just users of Google IM. While this hope is based on speculation, it does have some backing in the form of an active server.

Update: Users are reporting that they can login to the jabber server using their Google Account username and password. Details soon...

Update 2: Several un-named Google Executives have confirmed that Google will be announcing "Google Talk" tomorrow.

Screenshot: Google Talk Attempted Connection

View: Google Talk

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