19/05/2010

Google buys GIPS, Skype quakes?

Google has acquired GIPS (Global IP Sound) a vendor of high quality voice and video codecs used by many VoIP players (except Skype).

Skype have over 600m users and developed their own HD voice codec known as SILK.

Google bought Grand Central and then based their Google Voice service on top of it. Google already had their Google Talk service which is just their implementation of Jabber (or the XMPP protocol). It was possible to 'talk' to other users on Google Talk with their Jingle extensions (which Google published). Google Voice is their preferred and proper VoIP service. Unfortunately they didn't have a nice front-end for Google Voice so they acquired Gizmo5 the service from Michael Robertson. Gizmo5 had a reasonable user base and it was standards based using SIP as the VoIP protocol, though the back-end was meant to be based on Asterisk and other open source technologies. Google Voice has a very good back-end and so the tie-up with Gizmo5 gave them a nice front-end and Google could drop the Gizmo5 back-end stuff.

Now with the purchase of GIPS giving Google 'free' access to high quality voice codecs, they look to really threaten Skype's dominance of the VoIP market, especially if the launch Google Voice outside of the US.
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