Due for launch in March 2009, Google Voice, formerly GrandCentral and purchased by Google in 2007 for $50 milion, is a VOIP (voice over internet protocol) service from Google which has been put together to link customers' phone numbers together. Interestingly, this is a free service.
Basically, your Google Voice number is yours for life (yep, life) and when that number is called you can set it up to ring ALL your other numbers, mobile, landline, hotel room ... any phone really. You can choose which phones ring according to the time of day, or from an address book, or group. Just sit back and imagine for a moment ... no need to give out your mobile number, home or work numbers, no messy re-routing of calls, calls will find you almost seamlessly on any of your phones or in any location you happen to be. Of course, you'll have to re-issue all your contacts with your new Google Voice number, not even Google can fix that for you.
What it also means is that millions of people will be signing up as Google clients because it is free. Which bears the question, what's in it for Google? Power and knowledge would be the answer to that one. Google will know who you call and when on every phone you have and they will also have control of your communication system, lots of scope there for making a little cash, most definitely.
The product isn't availabe in Australia yet but you have to think that it won't take too long before Google take aim at the rest of the World. But, in Google's defense Google Voice offers a ton of features:
But, as they say, nothing is Nirvana so time will tell if this latest new best thing from Google will be the time saving, feature laden service it's purported to be.