We discussed the idea of Google coming up with an instant messaging application in the past, even talked about the possibilities of contextual ads based on your chat session topic. But now, there is some evidence (???) as to signs that Google might truly be releasing an instant messaging client.
Besides for the purchase of Picaso, which has an instant messaging tool under its belt (see WMW) an article was released named Google code hides IM secrets. In that article, it says "Smith ran a string utility search on the binary files in the desktop application, found the protocol "googlemail://" and next to it "google_im://." He speculated that the Google email protocol could eventually help the desktop application interact with the company's free web-based search service, Gmail."
However a Google representative, according to the article says "the protocol flagged by Smith does not hint at a pending Google IM product; rather, it is merely a component used to capture IM data from AOL Instant Messenger and make it searchable on the desktop."
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.