Google have announced their latest acquisition, GrandCentral Communications, a company that provides services for managing your telephone communications online.
The basic premise of GrandCentral is “one phone number for life”. This allows you to keep a single number when you change jobs, homes etc. The number then links to any of your current phone numbers depending on the caller’s relationship to you and what you’re doing at the time.
From the Google blog:
“GrandCentral is an innovative service that lets users integrate all of their existing phone numbers and voice mailboxes into one account, which can be accessed from the web. We think GrandCentral’s technology fits well into Google’s efforts to provide services that enhance the collaborative exchange of information between our users.”
Techcrunch speculates that GrandCentral will be used in collaboration with Google properties GTalk and Gmail and could be the next step in Google’s competition with Skype and other instant messaging platforms.
This latest acquisition is the 11th by Google this year, which has already surpassed the 2006 tally of 9. If Google continues to expand at its current rate, it will end up buying 24 companies in 2007, 3 times more than last year.