Google Plugs Free PC-to-Phone Calling Into E-mail

Published August 25, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google is adding a new e-mail feature that may persuade more people to cut the cords on their landline phones.

The service unveiled Wednesday enables U.S. users of Google Inc.'s free Gmail service to make calls from their personal computers to telephones virtually anywhere in the world.

All calls in the U.S. and Canada will be free through at least the end of the year. That undercuts the most popular PC-to-phone service, Skype, which charges 1.2 cents to 2.1 cents per minute for U.S. calls.

Google hopes to make money by charging 2 cents per minute for most international calls made on its e-mail calling service.

People also will be able to receive calls on their PC if they obtain a phone number from Google or already have one.

Written by Associated Press

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