David Pogue, New York Times: "Google just loves upsetting the apple cart. It shook up Web searching and advertising. It shook up free Web-based e-mail services when Gmail offered gigabytes of free storage rather than a few megabytes. It shook up the way companies go public.
The latest development is particularly shakeworthy: Google now lets you make free phone calls from your computer. It isn’t new fellow geeks who have installed Skype or iChat and use special “handles” like SkiBunny1968–but it will be to normal people, on regular American and Canadian phone numbers. Free."
Michael Arrington, TechCrunch: "... Today Google Voice is being integrated right into the browser via Gmail. It’s amazingly good – I know because I’ve been testing it for the last few days."
John Cook, TechFlash: "I've been test driving Google's new phone service this morning, placing free calls from my Gmail account to work colleagues and family members. So far, the service has worked like a charm -- crisp sound, an easy-to-understand interface and, most importantly, no dropped calls."
techiefool, CNET comment: "Google has put the awesome back into email again."
Try it out for yourself! Head on over to gmail.com/call and get started - it's available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
One quick tip: from the main Gmail page, you can type "gp" to bring up the phone dialer. Useful if you want to make a call without taking your hands off the keyboard!