All users willing to try out the new service will first need to download and install the voice and video plugin.

According to Google, the new feature has been designed based on Internet standards such as XMPP, RTP, and H.264, meaning that third-party applications and networks can interoperate with Gmail voice and video chat if needed.

“Once you install the plugin, to start a video chat, just click on the "Video & more" menu at the bottom of your Gmail chat window, and choose "Start video chat." You’ll have a few seconds to make sure you look presentable while it’s ringing, and then you’ll see and hear your friend live, right from within Gmail. You can click the "pop-out" iconto make the video larger, or click the fullscreen iconin the upper left-hand corner for a fully immersive experience,” reads the announcement on the Gmail blog.

While Gmail users may be happy, others are definitely angry. Skype would be the first company that comes to mind. Skype is the leader of the market, but the user base might crumble soon if another company comes with a better offer, neatly packed withing an already popular service.

The second name would be Microsoft, a company constantly struggling to match Google in terms of web-related services and features. It’s been only a few weeks since Redmond announced its move into cloud computing and now it has to sit and watch how its rival takes another step forward.