It was just earlier this week that Google unveiled its desktop search application and according to rumours, the company plans to expand further.

Recent speculation involved plans to unveil a new web browser, this time however the buzz is all about a supposed instant messaging client being worked on by the search giant. This is not the first time rumours about IM pop up however this week some interesting facts came to light. Whatever it is, it's pretty obvious the company does not plan to sit duck after its successful IPO.

Richard Smith, a well-known security consultant, said he examined the code in the desktop application and found included in the program files a new protocol: "google_im://". (A protocol allows desktop software to interact with the Web browser.) "This is a good sign there's an IM client," he said.