Joe Beda's EightyPercent.net:
Most of the development was centered up here in the Kirkland office.
Hmmm. Kirkland. Internet messaging. Hmm. Rats. Wish I'd a known. Oh well.
On the brighter side, the direction seems to be decentralization and federation - meaning any site or provider can run their own messaging server (using XMPP). Although the Google client has no configuration for attaching to multiple servers, someone will do that soon enough. Now is the time for someone to build TopicZero - the root of all subjects.