Google Adds Phone Calling To Gmail

At the moment, it’s only for consumers, but Google has announced that you can now make phone calls directly from the Gmail web interface. Here’s the lowdown on the service, and how it may eventually impact managed services providers.

Google’s blog post makes calling sound like simplicity itself -- a “Call phone” option now appears in your Google Chat contact list. It brings up a dial pad, or you can type the name of a contact. And when you do, a real phone rings on the other end.

Better yet, Google says US-to-US (or Canada) calls will be free at least through the end of the year, with international rates “as low as” $0.02/minute. And if you’re a Google Voice user, it shows that as your outgoing Caller ID.

That same blog post says that it’s not available to Google Apps resellers quite yet, but it’s coming before the end of the year. And while VoIP providers are touting click-to-call, it’ll be a significant component of Google’s enterprise play.

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