Google Launches Virtual Office Dream

Gmail just made virtual office users cheer with a new service that brings Voice over Internet Protocol to Gmail and links it to the Google Voice app. All this means you can make telephone calls from your Gmail interface. This is a virtual office user’s dream that will save you time and money on international calls.

Gmail users have been chatting it up using their PC’s mic and speakers via a service called Google Talk since 2005. But until today Gmail users couldn’t dial into land lines. Both Gmail users had to be sitting behind their computers and signed into Gmail at the same time in order to talk. Now virtual office users can dial landlines from their computers any time and anywhere.

“Given that most of us don’t spend all day in front of our computers, we thought, ‘wouldn’t it be nice if you could call people directly on their phones?’ said Google Software Engineer Robin Schriebman. “Starting today, you can call any phone right from Gmail.”

Here’s how it works: You can dial a phone number in the same familiar way you dial a normal phone. Just click “Call phone” at the top of your chat list and dial a number or enter a contact’s name. If you have a Google Voice phone number, calls made from Gmail will display this number as the outbound caller ID. You can also choose to receive calls made to this number right inside Gmail.

Calls to the U.S. and Canada will be free for at least the rest of the year, Google said, and promised calls to other countries will be billed at very low rates. Schriebman said Google worked hard to make international calling rates “really cheap.” Calls to the U.K., France, Germany, China, Japan -- and many more countries -- for as little as $0.02 per minute.

This is a great complement to the virtual office space. A virtual office space gives you a prestigious office address, mail forwarding, a lobby greeter, access to a business center and much more. Now, virtual office users can slash the cost associated with international phone calls using Google’s new service.


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