GTalk Can Now Make Phone Calls, Free to North America

By Will Greenwald

It looks like Google is trying to attain total telephone integration.

Google just keeps putting out features, services, and products focused on voice communication. It's not enough that the company has a phone-based OS that's proving to be a serious competitor with Apple. It's not enough that Google Voice gives users their own phone number for voice mail and other messages. It's not enough that Gmail/GTalk already include voice and video chat functions. Now Gmail can directly call phone numbers. It looks like Google is trying to attain total telephone integration.  


Besides Gmail's new phone-calling feature, Google is now  trying to promote Google Voice with telephone booths. The company will be scattering universities and airports with red phone boxes equipped with Google Voice, letting users make free domestic and international calls to sample the service. It's a bold promotion, but the company might have better luck attracting dedicated technology enthusiasts if they used blue police boxes instead of red phone boxes.