Bloomberg Businessweek - Google Web Calling Needs Mobile, Business Support, Analysts Say

(27-Aug-10) Google Inc. needs to add more mobile capabilities and support for business customers to its new Internet-calling service to compete with Skype Technologies SA and rival Web-phone providers, analysts said.

Google’s Gmail, the third-largest e-mail site with 186 million users worldwide, added a feature this week that lets users make voice calls to a wireless or land-line phone from a computer, the company said in a blog post. Calls to the U.S. and Canada will be free at least until yearend. Other calls will range from 2 cents a minute and up, depending on the country.

The service lacks features that would help Google make deep inroads in a market dominated by Skype, said Jayanth Angl, an analyst at Info-Tech Research Group in London, Ontario. It’s not yet accessible via Google’s package of business software and users can’t use the calling feature from mobile phones -- an area where Google has made strides with its Android software.

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