Google Brings Telephony to Gmail

Flooding through most of my usual news sources, this rolling update to the search giant’s hyper-popular webmail application is pretty hard to ignore. That didn’t stop me from trying. We have a good variety of systems that allow peer to peer voice and video, even Gmail could do that between its own users. There are also many good, cheap options for IP telephony though Google’s free domestic calls may be a first.

What I am not seeing in the coverage are answers to my own, more specific questions. I want to know how this relates to the technology Google got when it acquired Gizmo, an open source competitor to Skype that has far better compatibility with existing, open standards like SIP. I suppose I understand why this is only available in Gmail, as an incentive to use it more and ideally increase ad impressions.

It doesn’t address my desire to have a standalone desktop client, though, that integrates as seamlessly with my Google Voice account as this new Gmail feature does. The fact that making calls requires a browser plugin to be installed tells me that re-packaging those same guts would possible.

Google Brings Google Voice to Gmail, ReadWriteWeb

One Reply to “Google Brings Telephony to Gmail”

  1. I would be surprised if it couldn’t be somehow integrated into a chat client such as Empathy. It will be interesting to see how this is implemented on Android phones as an alternative for those trying to use Skype.

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