Image via CrunchBase
Google left GoogleVoice off the list of presentations from Google I/O last week and Skype Journal's Phil Wolff is all upset and cranky. In a short terse post today the all things IP and Skype pundit and friend goes off on a semi rant asking:
"Where’s the platform, folks? Will Skype’s platform come to market first and better? Or is Google ceding the field?"
First, if they were to be on the agenda, given the sale of Skype to Microsoft being announced just before the start of the event, Google did the right thing in not trying to make news about anything GoogleVoice last week. Talk about getting drowned out by bigger, but necessarily better. Secondly, GoogleVoice is what it is. Can it do more? Sure, but I would bet that each week more and more users come on board, and as more and more people shift to the best pre-paid deals around, the platform is second to keeping your phone number. Remember, the premise of GoogleVoice from it's GrandCentral days was "one number. For life." No one at Google on the GoogleVoice team has forgotten that premise. Third, Google is not a phone company, and they have steered clear of regulatory hurdles that impacted Skype for years. Google gives you a number. They then send you a text, or email you your voice mail. Some smart folks have figured out how to do some parlor tricks using GoogleVoice but for the most part, for people other than who are at the level of Phil and his cohorts, GoogleVoice makes being called or texted via one number easy. And you don't hear many complaints from users. The service works and it's free.
In my view before GV rolls out an expanded platform, they should move into the international arena with DID's in more countries, the ability to terminate, for a fee, to numbers in those countries and more, not simply be able to call or text to those nations. Then, and only then, will there be the need to start adding more. For now, if you want more features, and other tricks. check out services like FONYOU or YOUMAIL. They are in the platform business, and they will be open to Phil's business.