Blog Post

Google May Have Bought Gizmo5

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Gizmo5 founder Michael Robertson
Google (s GOOG) is rumored to have bought Gizmo5, provider of a SIP-based service, for an undisclosed amount of money, according to a report on TechCrunch. If true, the deal would add another arrow to Google’s quiver as it takes on incumbents Microsoft (s MSFT) and Cisco Systems (s CSCO) in the hotly contested collaboration market. While it does have Google Voice, the search engine giant lacks a truly enterprise-quality VoIP offering.

Given that most of Google’s customers are also likely Skype users (aka web workers), it makes perfect sense for it to buy Gizmo5. The San Diego-based company recently developed OpenSky, a gateway that allows you to call Skype from any VoIP-based phone/application. As founder Michael Robertson told us at the time:

What we’ve done is create a SIP alias for every Skype user. So if you want to call a Skype user named echo123 you simply dial [email protected] from any SIP-aware device (which is just about every piece of VOIP equipment). Users can even have any SIP call forwarded to their Skype address using my.gizmo5.com.

This application could come in handy for Google to capture some of the Skype magic as it tries to expand into the enterprise and increase its collaboration offerings. Gizmo5 could also help Google extend its reach on mobiles and bring much-needed expertise for soft clients for voice calls.

Gizmo5 says it has 6 million users; that number is unverified. If the deal is indeed true, Robertson, who been desperately looking for an encore since his first company, MP3.com, must be thrilled. Gizmo5 has raised closed to $20 million, a majority of it coming from Robertson.

P.S.: I want to apologize to readers for writing the original post outlining that Skype had bought Gizmo5. I guess the rumors of Skype buying Gizmo5 were still swirling in my head.

31 Responses to “Google May Have Bought Gizmo5”

  1. redpepper

    magicJack Users Can Now Connect To Google’s Gizmo5

    Users of the magicJack can now place and receive calls using almost any phone provider in the world including Gizmo5 recently acquired by Google. To top it off, magicJack users now also have a means of connecting directly to office PBX systems using the industry standard SIP communications protocol.

    To take advantage of these new “open network” calling possibilities, magicJack users simply need to install the new SIP dialer software plugin “XlitejackPlugin”. “XlitejackPlugin” allows magicJack and SIP calls to be placed concurrently from the same regular or cordless phone.

    The SIP dialer software plugin supports the use of Counterpath Corporation’s X-Lite SIP softphone dialer. Almost every phone provider in the world provides setup instructions and support for using the X-Lite SIP softphone dialer with their networks.

    To place SIP calls, just dial # before the number you want to call. Regular magicJack calls are placed as normal. For incoming calls, just answer the phone when it rings.

    “XlitejackPlugin” can be downloaded at http://www.pcphonesoft.com

  2. free voip sip or ata service for usa and canada + google voice sms, voicemail and forwarding. all free, it is incredible.

    but enjoy it while it lasts. even google can not afford it. will probably limit it soon.

    • I love how often GigaOM is 100% correct.
      @joe: data mining. This is all to gather vast quantities of txt convos and voicemail transcription ratings. The costs to them are acutally quite negligible, and they will be creating a speech-to-text database with no rival.

    • to really make an impact against vonage, cable voice and regular landlines they need to directly support outbound SIP dialing from hardware ATA’s. if they do magicjack, OOMA and all the VOIP firms concentrating on the domestic US market will quickly be out of business. what i believe would come next is free phone lines from ISP’s(this is common in europe). paid telephone(except cellular) in the US will be over.

      • yes. but if it becomes possible to have a phone that is nearly identical to a POTS line for the cost of an ATA no other payments ever that is a radical change. there are lots of people who do not care about a lower price that would jump in a second if the service was free.

        i talking about massive mass market drooping of paid telephone service by people who never considered VOIP before.

  3. would google really keep opensky alive. i is after all a hack/workaround that clearly involves violating skype TOS on handing over credential to third parties. i certainly would expect google to kill the workaround/hacks as soon as they take control. if google really believed in that sort of thing gmail would be able to act as a client for hotmail and yahoo mail.

  4. Question is… the backbone of Gizmo Project is still the SIPphone backbone — which is very clearly a telecom project that’s been skirting the telecom regs for a while now. Will this hamper Google’s latest cause in trying to get the FCC to consider them NOT a telco (the whole AT&T kerfuffle)?