What does Google Voice on your Desktop mean?

It seems like Google is testing a Desktop Client for its Google Voice service. Google acquired a company called Gizmo5 some time ago specifically for this reason.

GV (Google Voice) is a service that gives you a single virtual US phone number where people can call/SMS you and get forwarded to whatever landline/mobile phone you may be using at the moment. Its a pretty good service and should continue improving in the near future.

What does a Desktop version mean? I’ll try to summarize it into a few points:s

  • The Desktop version is something like a dashboard + an endpoint bundled together
  • This endpoint is so much better than a landline/mobile endpoint because you won’t experience lag and call-quality should be optimal
  • You’ll have full and interactive control of GV features such as conferencing, recording calls, etc
  • You’ll be able to place 100% VOIP calls to other GV subscribers who are using a Desktop version.
  • A Desktop version of GV is a first step, it will be followed by Mobile versions which let you place/receive calls over WiFi/3G, this lets Google bypass Carriers such as AT&T.
  • GV with a Desktop version is potentially better than Skype because it comes with a free US phone number and falls back to forwarding calls to your mobile/landline.


  • Right now placing GV calls is free, which is odd. Why odd? because it should be costing Google a shitload of money. I can only assume that because Google is buying termination on both sides, and both sides (carriers) may be charging their clients for receiving the call, Google is probably ending up with a net zero cost for this scenario.
  • Once you place calls from GV Desktop the result of this equation will be negative, and if my assumption is correct I predict Google won’t let you place free calls from Desktop/Mobile clients but will charge you for them, just as Skype does.

In short, I can’t wait to try it out rather than forwarding GV to my landline/mobile phones, at least when I’m home.

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