Google reportedly plans to launch an instant messaging program as early as this week, in a challenge to America Online, Yahoo and Microsoft.
"Google Talk" will allow computer users to chat with their keyboards and allow users with headsets to have voice conversations with other computer users with headsets, according to the Los Angeles Times, citing unnamed sources.
The move comes as Google, the leader in Internet search, tries to broaden its offerings and draw more users to its sites to draw more from its online advertising efforts.
On Monday, Google announced a new program giving users customized Web pages in a desktop window, similar to offerings from Yahoo and Microsoft.
The free program called "Sidebar" offers personalized information including e-mail, news, weather, photos, stocks or other content in a small vertical window on the side of a user's screen.
A year after its public stock offering, Google last week said it would sell more than 14 million additional shares in a secondary offering that could raise four billion dollars.