Google: The New Household Name in VOIP?

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-08-26 Print this article Print


5. It's becoming the one-stop shop 

Gmail itself is becoming the one-stop shop that Skype will never match. The service offers e-mail, social networking, phone calling and instant messaging, to name a few services. Skype has a few of those features, but not all of them. Today's Web user wants consolidated services. Google is offering that; Skype isn't. 

6. Skype is well-known, but so is Gmail 

Some say that Skype will be able to maintain its lead in the VOIP space because it's a well-known firm. But Google is even more well-known, and it has a built-in user base in Gmail that it can capitalize on. Thus, the immense market influence of the Google and Gmail brands readily trump Skype's position as a "household name" in VOIP space. 

7. Future potential 

Let's not forget that Gmail phone calling is just the first step of many. The search giant has a plan with the service that it wants to implement over time. And although there are shortcomings right now, it's entirely possible that Google will quietly update the service every so often to bring more Skype-like functionality to it. As that happens, Skype will need to stay ahead-or else. 

8. Call quality is outstanding (for VOIP) 

As anyone who has used VOIP knows, the call quality could be much better. But calls placed over Gmail's phone service have outstanding quality. In fact, they match Skype quite well. That should help Google appeal to customers who want ideal service, and potentially cause some current Skype and Gmail users to opt for Google's alternative. Simply put, if call quality matters, Google is competing quite well. 

9. Gmail has video chat 

Part of the value of Skype is that users can chat with each other over video through a Webcam. But Gmail offers the same option. And for most users, its quality holds up quite well compared with Skype's. If Skype wants to continue enjoying success, it needs to find unique value propositions that Google can't quite muster right now. 

10. Simplicity reigns supreme 

The beauty of Google products is that they're simple. Users can simply load them up, choose the option they want and perform that action. The same is true when placing calls on Gmail. Although placing a call is easy in Skype, it requires many more actions to start the service. Simplicity means something to customers, and so far, Gmail wins out over Skype. 

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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