VoIP comes to Gmail, Skype shuddersPublish date: 26 August 2010 by Johan Keyter
Google Inc. recently launched Google Talk, their new service that allows Gmail users to make calls directly to phones utilising Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology.
Google Talk is presented in the form of a downloadable application for Windows, and once users have installed it they can get started by simply clicking on the ‘add friend’ button from the Google Talk interface.
Unfortunately Google’s VoIP solution is currently only available in the United States, it should however be extended to other countries in the near future.
Gmail users can download the Google Talk application here and everyone they invite will also receive a free Gmail account if they do not already have one. While Google is moving in on voice chat, Facebook recently launched its own video chat application.
According to Google, the key features of Google Talk includes superior voice quality through a computer microphone and speaker, a simple and intuitive user interface and a shared Gmail contacts list, so there’s no need to invite old contacts again.
Google is also working with other VoIP service providers to establish an open communications model in the industry. This agreement between the respective companies would allow members of one network (such as Skype) to talk to users from a different network (such as Google Talk), in a secure and abuse-free manner. Google is currently working with EarthLink and their Vling service and with Sipphone and their Gizmo Project to start establishing this model.
As Google Talk requires users to have a Gmail username and password, the company is making it even easier to acquire these. The company has launched a feature (only available in the US at the moment), the enables users who visit the Gmail site to simply enter their mobile phone number after which they will receive a text message with an invitation code that will enable them to easily open a Gmail account.
With a Gmail account users will now be able to use the functionality of both Gmail and Google Talk, talking to friends and family over email, IM or voice calls, all for free.
“At Google, we’re continually investing in areas where we can make technological change, and we recognize the importance of efficient instant communications and information exchange,” said Georges Harik, director of product management at Google. “Google Talk further enriches our users’ communication experience, whether they choose to communicate via email, IM, or a call,” he concluded.
Google already owns the world’s largest search engine, one of the most popular email clients, and now they’re moving onto Skype’s turf with VoIP calling, can anything stop the Google machine?