Thursday, July 5, 2007

Google acquires GrandCentral

Google Inc.has announced having added internet-based calling service GrandCentral Communications to its ever-expanding network. Though the search engine firm has not disclosed the terms of the deal, it has been estimated at around $50 million.

GrandCentral lets users of its software combine all their phone numbers and voicemail boxes under one phone number so they can manage various phone features online. Users can set up their accounts so that the number can ring on one or multiple phones, based on who is calling. Customers can hear voicemail online or from a phone and forward voicemails to others or post them to a blog.

Users can log into their online address book and then click on an entry to make a call. Once the user clicks on the number, GrandCentral calls the user's designated phone and then connects it to the number from the address book.

GrandCentral had received an undisclosed amount of funding from San Francisco-based Minor Ventures, an investment vehicle created by angel investor Halsey Minor, founder of CNET Networks Inc.

The acquisition adds to other Google communications services, including Google Talk, an instant messaging service that includes VOIP (voice over Internet Protocol) calling.
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