oogle 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
- Who are the real gay marriage bigots?
- Sorry Belle Knox, porn still oppresses women
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- Religious liberty should be a liberal value, too
- Watch The Daily Show mock Fox News' confused man-crush on Vladimir Putin
- Why is American internet so slow?
- Why states should stop limiting the alcohol content in your beer
- Don't worry: World War III will almost certainly never happen
- 10 things you need to know today: March 8, 2014
Subscribe to the Week