Google just bought VOiP startup Gizmo5—like Skype, but open source—to integrate with Google Voice. That puts Google a few short steps away from offering free or almost-free phone calls. The search giant has encroached on Microsoft’s Windows and Office franchises with Chrome OS and Google Apps, and it’s rattling the book publishing world. Is Google’s next victim AT&T and the telecom industry?
Google will destroy phone companies: Google’s “bitter war of words” with AT&T is about to get uglier, says Sam Gustin in DailyFinance. The Gizmo5 purchase puts “the entire phone industry on notice,” including cable companies and even “entrenched VOiP players like Skype....Google’s coming at you.” Once Google Voice gets true Internet calling powers, you should be able “to ditch a conventional phone service—forever.”
“Google pays $30M for Gizmo5; Did the search giant just blow up the phone biz?”
Google won’t want the regulatory hassle: Sure, adding VOiP to Google Voice is the “blazingly obvious” thing for Google to do, says Emma Woollacott in TG Daily. But there’s a snag. As part of its ongoing tiff with AT&T, Google told the FCC last month that Google Voice should not be subject to the same rules and regulations as phone companies—“precisely because it wasn’t a VOIP service.”
“Google buys VOIP company Gizmo5”
Consumers should root for Google: I don’t see how Google can resist the “potent recipe,” says Ryan Singal in Wired, of Google Voice’s call-routing and voice transcription prowess and Gizmo5’s “ultracheap outgoing calls to domestic and international phone numbers.” Nor should you want it to. One way or another, “Google is set to become your new phone company, perhaps reducing your phone bill to zilch in the process.”
“Google poised to become your phone company”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- After Ferguson: Stop deferring to the cops
- Ferguson riots were terrible — but this racist reaction was worse
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why the poor can't catch a break on Thanksgiving
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- The hilarious hypocrisy of Republicans complaining about the imperial presidency
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Don't argue about politics this Thanksgiving. Just don't.
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- In Ferguson, Michael Brown lost his life — and America's police lost the benefit of the doubt
Subscribe to the Week