To place a call, Gmail users can click “Phone Call” option in the chat menu on the left side of the screen, and then call any national number. Google Voice users can also handle inbound calls via Gmail desktop at no cost.
The main difference between Gmail and Skype is that Google users can talk for free to landlines and mobile phones, or you can make free calls from UK, while Skype only allows free calls to Skype accounts. Skype offers phone but mobile applications for other users. Google does not offer free calls on mobile phones. Both services are charged for international calls.
Google adds Gmail calls in August 2010 and said at the time to start charging for calls in 2011. In the same year, Google expanded its range of voice calls over Gmail in late 2011. Now the company is extending the offer of one year.
It is not clear why Google offers free calls much longer than originally expected, a short post on the official Gmail blog offers no explanation. Maybe Google needs more time to build a base of users against Skype, or maybe making enough revenue from international calls.
What ever the reason I’m glad to see remain free until at least 2012, but I also wonder if its this year is the last time. Google does a lot to streamline the last time, the closure of the laboratory, power meter, health, Buzz and other services that are either unpopular or become obsolete. I do not know whether to call Gmail is a success, but if not, it could also end up in the pit, especially if it turns its attention to Google Google + and venues for live communication.