Posted by jonathan at 1:46pm EST on 08/25/2010
This is a huge stab against Skype and all of the other VoIP competitors out there.
With this release, Google is offering free calling anywhere within the United States and Canada for the rest of 2010.
What kind of implications can this have on the VoIP community? How about the e-mail community?
First, the VoIP community just took on a huge new competitor, with a lot of resources, and millions of users. It’s difficult to compete in a space when Google hops into bed with your industry. Google hadn’t really tapped too far into the VoIP industry yet, even with GTalk, as GTalk hasn’t received wide-spread consumption yet.
Google definitely wants to progress more into the VoIP space and this is their first attempt at it – and I think they will be extremely successful. But success will only come when it’s a full desktop download, not just within Gmail.
Secondly, how does this effect the e-mail community which drives the Gmail traffic? I think it has a very positive effect on it. Gmail just became much more useful.
Beyond the basic added features of Gmail Labs – which I use the Calendar widget religiously because it’s so easy to create calendar events – Gmail now has another hard element which is very functional [and people will use it].
A huge congrats goes out to the Gmail team behind this release, it’s a great new feature.