Google Voice Rolling Out to Select Invitees
Google is rolling Google Voice out to users who signed up for the service. The VOIP management system assigns users one number to ring their home, work and cell phones. Though not to be confused with Skype's universal VOIP platform, analysts praise the service. Is number portability on the way?Google is opening up its Google Voice VOIP management service to more invitees June 25. Users who requested an invitation on the Google Voice site or previously on GrandCentral can expect invitations via e-mail, according to this post from Google Voice product managers Craig Walker and Vincent Paquet:
"Once you receive your invitation, just click on the link and follow the instructions to [set up] your new Voice account. To help you find a Google number that is personalized to you, we've added a number picker that lets you search by area code and text. See if you can find a number that contains your name, a specific word or a number combination."
Seriously, it is probably one of the biggest breakthrough technologies to hit the telecommunications industry since call waiting or the arrival of the cell phone. In my case, I use a Google Voice number as my work number, programming it to ring simultaneously on my office, mobile and home numbers. I've also programmed calls to go directly to voicemail during the evening and weekend hours when I'm technically "off the clock."Google Voice has another rumored perk that is causing quite a stir. TechCrunch's Michael Arrington June 14 reported that Google is testing number portability for the service among a small group of users. Arrington wrote:
Once that happens, users will be able to move the phone number they've had forever to Google, and avoid the switching costs. That means you can switch your mobile number to Google and then just use whatever device you happen to have in your hand to receive calls. That's an extremely powerful feature for Google Voice.IDC's Swensen agreed, noting, "If the rumor about number portability is true this is an extra bonus for Google, as people are reluctant to give up their own numbers."