Making Google Voice and Video Plugin work on Windows 8 Desktop

I recently shifted to Windows 8. Earlier I was using Windows 7 Pro and so I did only an upgrade to Windows 8 so that I did not have to install all my applications all over again.

The upgrade was fine except for one thing. After a few days of upgrade I found that I was unable to make a video or voice call using the Gmail feature. Whenever I tried to make a call, I was asked to install the "Google Voice and Video Chat plugin" and it will take me to this link: https://www.google.com/chat/video/

I went to this link several times and installed the plugin for umpteen times but of no avail and it will still ask me the same. I read somewhere on the internet that on Windows 8 it is not supported in the Metro Mode but google voice and video runs fine on the desktop mode. Some said that it works fine with Google's Chrome browser. I was never a fan of Google's Chrome and my favorite was always Firefox. But for the Google voice feature, I installed this browser as well.

Again the result was the same. No support for Google voice or video calling on my Windows machine on any of the three browsers.

I had read people saying that if they did a fresh install of Windows 8, it worked for them. But I was not ready to format my C drive and get a three day's job to get this petty plugin working on my new OS.

After some workarounds, I thought of uninstalling everything that was related to Google. So, I uninstalled Google Talk, Google Talk Plugin and Google Chrome. I also removed the data files associated with these applications from my C drive under the users directory.

After all this, I installed the Google Voice and Video Chat plugin again. And, LO, it worked perfectly well in my favorite Firefox!

Then I checked whether it worked with my Internet Explorer as well. But it was not working there. I knew that the install was just fine. So, I went to check the "Add-on Manager" area of it and saw that for Google there were two add-ons. One was "Google Talk ActiveX Plugin" which was already enabled. But there was another one under the Google section itself named "O3DHostControl Class" which was disabled. So, I enabled this too. Closed the Internet Explorer and restarted it. When logged back into gmail in Internet Explorer, the Gmail talk and video feature starting working and I was getting the green little "Video Camera" icon flashed behind my name!

As there is less amount of info about this on the internet, I thought sharing my experience would be helpful to others. Hope it will save some of your time when you shift to Windows 8!

Cheers!

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