Google has added a cut down version of its Talk software to its email interface Gmail to encourage more of its users to use the instant messaging service.

Through the new interface, users will be able to email or instant messaging any contact depending on whether or not the contact they want to talk to is online.

Google are citing the move because it feels “Communications these days can be frustrating”.

One of key benefits of the new service will be the ability to instant message directly from a browser window rather than rely on installed software on the machine you are using - a feature that will appeal heavily to travellers who use different machine on a regular basis.

Google has said that the service is currently available to Windows IE6.0+ and Firefox1.0+ users.

The Talk element of the service will also allow you to save instant messenger chat sessions for later retrieval, however Google is allowing you to turn this off with a feature called “Off the record” where you can so that nothing typed from that point forward gets saved in anyone's Gmail account.

Google has said that it will be rolling out the new service to its Gmail customer across the globe in the next few weeks. The chat features however will only currently work in the US-English interface.