Google Rolls Out Free Phone Service

Add telephone services to Google's ( GOOG) massive list of offered goodies. On Thursday, Google launched Google Voice. Actually, it's a relaunch of something called Grand Central, a company/service it purchased in 2007.

Google Voice will offer users a single telephone number that will be able to ring home, work phones, mobile phones, a central voice inbox (that you can use on the Web) and also call-screening. (Here is the company's demonstration video.)

An interesting feature of the new service is that your Google Voice number can act as your one main "overall" phone number that you can adjust from an anywhere-in-the-world program for forwarding calls to any of your Google Voice-registered phone numbers.

But the best feature appears to be that Google Voice is free, although just like Skype (a division of eBay ( EBAY), it will charge for international phone calls.

Still in beta, the service should open its door to everyone in the next few weeks.

Gary Krakow is TheStreet.com's senior technology correspondent.

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