Alec Saunders writes on the potential Grand Central acquisition by Google
After all the attention that Grand Central has received, the rumour on the street is that they may have been acquired by Google for a cool $50 million. If true, it reveals a lot more of Google's hand than we've seen previously. Until now, they've studiously avoided any knd of service which connects them directly with the PSTN. GoogleTalk famously relies on third parties to provide origination and termination services. With Grand Central in the mix, however, that would no longer be true. Grand Central's message of One Phone Number, for life also fits nicely with Google's aspirations to be your one mailbox, and online identity resource.
I've been using Grandcentral for a number of months, and I've been telling just about everyone I know about how wonderful a service they provide. It will be interesting to see Google's approach, will they market the service at the masses, or will they roll into the suite Google Apps (or both)?
I wonder if the telcos realize what a threat Grandcentral is to their business models simply because it makes the phone number from your service provider unimportant. I'm assuming many people stick with their current providers simply because they want to avoid the hassle of changing phone numbers (and because number portability doesn't always work, or isn't always an option).
BTW - it was great finally meeting Alec in person at Enterprise 2.0!