updated 02:40 pm EDT, Tue July 3, 2007
Google Adds GrandCentral
Google today announced that it had picked up GrandCentral, an increasingly popular service that establishes a unified phone number through a web interface, letting those with multiple lines receive calls and voicemail regardless of which device they use to answer the call. The search engine giant said it had bought out GrandCentral for an undisclosed amount because the phone technology behind the startup firm would "enhance the collaborative exchange of information" for those visiting Google's sites, according to Google Product Manager Wesley Chan.
The Mountain View-based buyer indicated that it had no current plans to shut down GrandCentral and that there were still opportunities for US phone subscribers to sign up for beta testing the service. Existing users will still be supported but will have to use pre-supplied ringtones rather than uploading their own, GrandCentral says. Permanent message recording, caller blocking, and custom voicemail messages will remain in place.