Google Voice Challenges Skype

Gmail got a little more competitive on Wednesday as Google unveiled its Google Voice phone service designed to allow its users to make free phone calls directly from their email inbox.


In a major move to challenge the success of Skype, Google is basically offering every Gmail user a way talk on the phone for free, at least in 2010, to landlines and cell phones in the United States and Canada. Not only can Gmail users call any phone numbers, but they will also be assigned their own Gmail phone numbers. That way, phone users can call Gmail Voice users if they are signed in to their Gmail accounts. Pretty impressive.

As far as hardware goes, the new service requires only a microphone and speakers. If you have those two things, you can go immediately to your Gmail inbox and make a call to any of your close friends or family. Before calling, however, you will need to download the Gmail Voice phone service program to your computer.

This brings up a major topic of debate: Google’s incentive to offer free phone service.

The key here is international calling. Google claims that, because they will be charging a small fee for international calls, they will be able to offer the free national phone service without hurting the company.

Analysts and other interested parties feel differently. Many believe Google will be using the content transmitted within the phone calls to focus and apply specified advertising to Gmail phone service users.

Yes, in other words, Google would be listening to your calls and learning what you like and dislike, then advertising to you accordingly. Like Facebook, only more creepy and seemingly illegal.

Google denies this motive and claims it will be relying on profits from the international calling to keep the service going. It’s up to you to decide if Google has darker motives.

The question now: how long will Google Voice phone service calls to landlines and cell phones, and from said devices to Gmail accounts, be offered for free?

Bookmark and Share

31 Responses to Google Voice Challenges Skype

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>