Where, oh where, has Grand Central gone?
Google hasn't mentioned any plans for virtual phone service Grand Central, which it acquired in July 2007 for $50 million. ZDNet's Sam Diaz reports that, after a blog post he wrote calling Grand Central "his favorite telecommuting tool," readers tried to sign up, but were informed that new registrations have been suspended.
Diaz got a response from Google claiming the product had been put into a closed beta test, hence the closure of new registrations. He makes a valid point that Google has had its hands full with all of its recent product announcements and might have let Grand Central fall by the wayside for the time being.
Grand Central has many convenient and useful features, like temporary call forwarding to another number, unified messaging and web-based voicemail. Integrating the voice application with other features could add value to some of Google's other services, like GMail and YouTube, for instance. With its immense research and development budget, you would think Google could take Grand Central's interface and create something innovative. We'll see if the next few months hold any Grand plans for Google in this area.
- see Diaz's post on ZDnet.com here