Google’s enigmatic voice service known as Google Voice once again surfaces to headlines. It’s becoming a silly ritual, Google unveils something trivial like number portability and the blogs light up with praise rather than condemnation that it’s been missing for so long.
This March, Google Voice will celebrate its two year anniversary. The service is actually older, but it was March 2009 that Google launched its Grand Central acquisition under its current brand. The service is reasonably impressive – it includes a phone number, free long distance, unified messaging, smartphone clients, domestic long distance, and more for no charge. That’s hard to beat. But the service also has a number of serious limitations restricting its appeal to cost-conscious consumers and small businesses.
Google’s exact intentions with Google Voice are speculative as the search giant has little to say. Certainly, it has great potential. Combined with many other Google services, the company could create a powerful unified communications offering that would be difficult for competitors to match. Presumably, Google has some master plan – though the service has no revenue (no fees or advertising).