Google has quietly decided to put Gizmo5 to rest. The company, acquired last year from Michael Robertson and his investor partners for $30 million dollars has been integrated into Google Talk for the most part, including the video components that were part of Gizmo5 last incarnation. TechCrunch and others have written the story as well.
The service will shut down on April 11 of this year, and starting March 11 users will no longer be able to buy credit. Google is providing options to Gizmo5 users to port their numbers to GoogleVoice, to receive a credit from Google that can be used with Google Voice or receive a refund.
There was no mention of credit for International numbers that had been paid for, or if those International numbers can be ported to Google Voice though, something that will likely get sorted out next week.
Here's the note from Google/Gizmo5:
Gizmo5 is writing to let you know that we will no longer be providing service starting on April 3, 2011. A week from today, March 11, 2011, you will no longer be able to add credit to your account.
Although the standalone Gizmo5 client will no longer be available, we have since launched the ability to call phones from within Gmail at even more affordable rates. In order to make this change as smooth as possible for you, we’ve put together a couple of options to help you transition off of Gizmo5’s service.
- Keep your Gizmo5 call-in number by porting it to Google Voice. To initiate the port, please log in to http://my.gizmo5.com and follow the instructions at the top of your account page. If you don’t have a Google Voice account, please create one first so that we can port your call-in number.
- Transfer your call credit or get a refund. If you purchased calling credit and have a balance remaining in your account, log in to http://my.gizmo5.com and select from one of the following options:
- Transfer your call credit to your Google Voice account, which can be used for calling from Google Voice or Gmail. If you don’t have a Google Voice account, please create one first so that we can transfer your credit. If you are outside of the United States and Google Voice is not yet available, a transfer will not be possible, so please request a refund of your remaining call credit.
- Request a refund.Please request your number port, call credit transfer or refund by April 3, 2011. If you don't request a call credit transfer or refund by this date, we will automatically refund your remaining call credit via the payment method originally used to purchase the credit. Note that if you paid via Moneybookers or if your credit card on file has expired, we will not be able to automatically refund your remaining credit, so please log in to initiate the refund process.
The Gizmo5 Team
Back in the era of GrandCentral, I played a part in bringing Gizmo and GC together for a very simple SIP interop. The idea was simple. Since both were SIP based, the ability to make inbound calls routed into my GrandCentral would be possible, and more importantly, I could answer my calls using the Gizmo client and using a SIP based endpoint in my home for all my GoogleVoice/GrandCentral calls.
With this move, it looks like Google has also moved away from that process and instead is using only GoogleTalk as the end point, but with the new Android OS, especially Honeycomb, they become the endpoints in my opinion. What's more it also appears that Gizmo's parent SIPPhone and all of its core assets, including voice federation, college switchboard interoperability, and more have also been mothballed. Those features were actually well ahead of their time.