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'Chat' is Google's add-on communication tool that works with Gmail.

  1. If you are logged in to Gmail, click on the gear icon.
  2. Click on 'Settings' and there's a 'Chat' tab.
  3. Click on the 'Chat' tab to open it.
  4. Select 'Chat On' if you are available to send and receive chat notifications.

If you want to chat with someone, click on their name on the left-hand side of the Gmail window. A chat window will open on the right hand side. Enter your message and click enter. The message will pop up on their screen in the same place where you are typing. NOTE: Chat conversations are logged and are subject to the Texas Freedom of Information Act.

http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2011/01/desktop-notifications-for-emails-and.html