Google Hangouts Leaves Jabber Contacts Out To Dry

I’ve used the Google Talk Chrome extension for a while, and it’s pretty decent. I use it extensively to talk to coworkers who are using the Fonality HUD (Heads-Up-Display) chat function, which uses a jabber chat server. This morning I discovered that, tada, Google “upgraded” the Talk extension to Google Hangouts. In the process, they don’t even show my Jabber/Fonality contacts. Even logging into Gmail, where the contacts still exist in the chat sidebar, when I try to start a chat it doesn’t respond or open a chat window. So far, the Beejive Google Talk app on my iPhone still works but otherwise I’m stuck switching to another service with zero warning or options. Not a fan. I’m not opposed to finding alternatives, they exist I know, but I was happy and now the plan has changed with no real warning and now I’m scrambling. At least Beejive works. I’d definitely be open to switching to Lync, but that’s not Jabber compatible to talk to my coworkers where they already are, and the iPhone app stinks (can’t even stay signed in properly for long periods of time, among other issues). I could run an Openfire server of course, but I have enough work supporting customers that I’d rather not spend the time managing our own infrastructure as well, because I know there won’t be spare time!

Enough rant for now, but I haven’t really seen much out there about this, or anything that mentions the lack of Jabber support in the new Hangouts extension for Chrome, so I wasn’t satisfied just seeing others complain since they haven’t yet (I’m sure they will, give it time–they have complained a bit, just not about the lack of Jabber yet :-)