Google launches direct phone calls from Gmail

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New York, Aug 26: The search engine giant, Google Inc, announced the launch of direct phone calling from their e-mail service Gmail.

Google told that users of Gmail will now be able to call telephones directly from their email. Google also promised free calls to US and Canadian phones from Gmail for the rest of the year 2010 and told it would charge low rates for calls made to other countries.

Users can call others like a normal phone, which the user have to click on the 'call phone' option in their chat buddy list in Gmail and type in the number or enter a contact's name. Call cost will be charged from an online account that users can top up with a credit card.

Market analysts reported that the launch of direct call from Gmail will create direct competition with Web calling service Skype and more traditional operators such as AT&T Inc and Verizon Communications.

Skype, owned by private equity firms and eBay Inc, became popular by offering free computer-to-computer voice and video services.

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