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Communications Google The Internet Technology

What Does Google Get Out of Voice? 119

Posted by timothy
from the achieving-sentience-takes-patience dept.
itwbennett writes "Assuming Google isn't offering Voice out of the goodness of their hearts, what's the payoff? One likely, if cynical, possibility is that Google Voice is 'just another feeder for their vast database on you,' writes Kevin Purdy in a recent blog post. Or maybe Google just wants to get better at speech-to-text, and collecting your voice messages is just one big voice-mining effort. 'They already did it with GOOG-411, the free phone directory service that mined voices across the country to launch Google Voice's current transcription offering,' says Purdy. For its part, Google says it has no plans to monetize Voice beyond the international calling and number porting fees that it currently charges."
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What Does Google Get Out of Voice?

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  • android phones? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vlm (69642) on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @10:20AM (#39484213)

    For reasons which are far beyond this post, I can't port my old phone number to my new phone provider, but I CAN port my old number to the mighty GOOG.
    Basically its a forwarding service pointing my old number to my android phone.

    In the long run, if "phone service" went away and all I had was data service, and I ran google voice over that data service, I'd be OK with that. If I had ubiquitous wifi and could connect to google voice over that, I wouldn't even need "phone" service.

  • by bogaboga (793279) on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @10:25AM (#39484271)

    "Assuming Google isn't offering Voice out of the goodness of their hearts, what's the payoff?

    Sincerely folks, I do not know or care. What matters to me is how I am going to be able to make something for myself in a climate of strangling student, home, medical and personal debts. All these in a climate of an uncertain job market, which is likely to get worse before getting better.

    What Google of any other company is doing with their cash is of no consequence to me sincerely.

    Does what Google do with its services matter to you? If so, how?

  • It's a sunk cost (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jimmy_B (129296) <(slashdot) (at) (jimrandomh.org)> on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @10:36AM (#39484387) Homepage

    If Google had won a wireless spectrum auction (they didn't), then Google Voice could've been the core of Google's competition with the telco network. Pieces of it are probably still useful for Android, and it could give them negotiating leverage with carriers. So it could've been really important, but didn't turn out that way. The thing with software products, though, is that almost all of the cost is in the initial creation; once created, they cost very little to keep around. So Google keeps Voice running, because it costs them little and turning it off would be very disruptive.

  • Re:Do No Net Evil (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mindcontrolled (1388007) on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @10:43AM (#39484431)
    He did, didn't he. And we all know that verbing weirds language!
  • by twistedcubic (577194) on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @10:47AM (#39484479)
    I paid $10 on Google Voice for calling a relative in the Middle East. However, I've paid $0 in ten years of using Google's other servces. Don't underestimate the price of calling non-western countries.
  • by pz (113803) on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @10:57AM (#39484567) Journal

    If Google had won a wireless spectrum auction (they didn't), then Google Voice could've been the core of Google's competition with the telco network.

    Very insightful. However, there's nothing to say that Google won't obtain wireless spectrum through some other means, like a future auction, or outright acquisition of an extant carrier. Given that AT&T and T-Mobile USA were slow dancing before the FTC turned on the lights, one can readily assume either one might be approachable with an offer. Google has tons of cash on hand, too.

  • by squiggleslash (241428) on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @11:17AM (#39484747) Homepage Journal

    Do you have even the slightest idea of what you're talking about?

    It was bad enough when the critics insisted that Google Voice was some VoIP service, and you now think it's a voice command system?

    Google Voice is a really cool voicemail, call screening, redirection, and discounted international calls service. The only speech recognition it does is a transcription service for incoming voicemails (so you can read them rather than listen to them.) The transcriptions are rarely anything close to perfect, but usually good enough to get the gist.

    It's not VoIP (although it's integrated quite nicely with Google Talk so it can be _part_ of a VoIP system if you want), it's not voice commands, it's a pretty unique and, in my view (disclaimer: I own ONE share of GOOG) awesome enhancement to your phone system.

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