Google Testing Skype Challenger?
Google Voice has become a fan favorite for its ability to handle voicemail and have it follow you wherever you need it to. Very handy. You can receive and manage voicemails through Google voice from various numbers and have separate messages for certain callers etc etc etc. The one thing it has not provided, however, is an endpoint for calls so while a good tool, it has been limited.
In November 2009 Google purchased Gizmo5 and the rumor mill started humming about what Google had up its sleeve with regard to the use of their newly acquired VOIP tool box.
Since that purchase was all of 5 months ago that seems like several Internet lifetimes to not move the needle on that rumor. Well, TechCrunch is reporting that there is something to talk about.
Gizmo5 fills some of the holes in the Google Voice product, particularly providing an endpoint for calls. Currently Google Voice users must assign their Google Voice phone number to an actual phone to make and receive calls.
Google never commented on how they might use Gizmo5’s technology. But we’ve confirmed that they have now built a Google Voice desktop application to make and receive calls. From a user perspective, this will let Google Voice users take calls right from their desktop.
According to TechCrunch sources, this application is being tested by Google employees internally.
So if you are Skype, this news can’t be good. Of course, if you are Skype and you see Google making a move to become a player in yet another business there are options. In fact, you are likely to start revving up the law team of “Dewey, Screwyou, and How” to see how you can most effectively cry monopoly and get the feds involved. That’s just my theory but if this follows suit (pun intended) with other offerings Google has looked to roll out (AdMob) this will end up in a legal battle as much as it will a competitive one.
So if you are a Skype user does this make you think you may have another option or are you content with your Skype service? Let us know.