According to an exclusive press release discovered and leaked by TechCrunch, Google has now officially ceased construction on a new desktop VoIP application. This client, unofficially known as “Google Voice Desktop,” would have interfaced with Google Voice service in the same manner as a traditional Skype session.
Current users of Google Talk can make and receive calls only within the Google network, and have no way of connecting to landline or mobile devices. Google Voice users can call anyone they choose, but have no way of making calls through PC-based desktop interfaces. Google had started work on the interface following its acquisition of Gizmo 5 in November 2009. Google intended to use Gizmo 5's preexisting desktop client, similar to Skype, to combine its Google Voice and Google Talk services into a single unified software endpoint. According to TechCrunch, Google started testing the new system as of April 2010. The current product, according to TechCrunch, is fully integrated with the Google Voice service, address book, and several other additional features.
Writer Seth Weintraub writes that the application previewed by TechCrunch “looks pretty ready for general release, even if for the typical Google Beta release program.”
Google has since scrapped the product to focus more exclusively on its online services. According to TechCrunch, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin “don’t want Google to be in the business of creating software outside of the browser.”
A grassroots campaign has since started up to petition Google to recontinue construction on the app, according to Weintraub.
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