Heralded by some as a potential Skype killer, Google has finally allowed the masses to sign up for Google Voice without having to scout for an invite online (provided you live within a certain country that is).
A little over a year ago, we released anÂ early preview of Google Voice, our web-based platform for managing your communications. […] Today, after lots of testing and tweaking, weâ€™re excited to open up Google Voice to the public, no invitation required. […]
Just to clarify, though we’ve opened up sign-ups, Google Voice is still limited to everyone in the U.S. for now. (Official Google Voice Blog)
For now Google Voice acts more like a forwarding service than a true VoIP phone service, so for now Skype currently has the edge over its deep pocket rival.
Google has not indicated when they will open up the service internationally, as well as whether they will consider making a software alternative for desktop users (the latter is important if they desire to overtake Skype).
While Google Voice still has a long ways to go before they can dethrone the current VoIP king (who sports video calls for free), Google’s entrance into the VoIP arena may inspire the industry to maintain low calling fees (as Google could easily subsidize price to gain market share).