"When XMPP was designed, smartphones and social networks didn't exist. Yet both trends essentially transformed communication but the standard remains unchanged. For example, mobile has several requirements around bandwidth and battery that are simply not part of the standard. And audio and video integration are not well defined," she said.
Google announced Hangouts at its I/O developer conference last week, and presented it as the future main service for chats, audio calls and video meetings across all Google services and devices. It will replace Google Chat, Google Talk and Google Plus Messenger.
"Yes, Hangouts will be the single, unified messaging service for Google," the spokeswoman reiterated via email.
The XMPP Standards Foundation didn't immediately respond to a request for comment, but its executive director Peter Saint-Andre, a technical leader at Cisco, engaged in Twitter discussions about the issue during I/O, saying at one point: "Google can stop supporting XMPP, but it's impossible for them to kill it. That's the beauty of distributed technologies!"
Meanwhile, the EFF is encouraging Google to make its Hangouts protocol public and interoperable. "Releasing the specifications for Google Hangouts would be a good first step. Releasing free/open source clients and servers should follow," Higgins wrote.
Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.