Google has announced that it is now making its Google Talk instant messaging service free for all.

Previously the search engine had restricted its use to Gmail account users only, however from today anyone is able to use the service to talk to others for free around the globe.

Instant Messaging has had a busy week this week with Yahoo and Microsoft announcing that the two companies are to allow their subscribers to chat with each other.

The new joint instant messaging community forms the world’s largest IM network with nearly 350 million user accounts.

Online contacts will now be viewed through the same contact list; once a user adds a Windows Live Messenger contact, they’ll show up on the Yahoo Messenger contact list; you can even send them a message when they’re logged off to be delivered when they come back online. The only limitation to the service is that Microsoft and Yahoo users will not be able to carry out VoIP calls between the two services.