Google Voice was GrandCentral before Google acquired that company back in 2007. Like most Google acquisitions it took a long time to fully rebuild the service on Google’s infrastructure, and even today Google Voice is still in private beta.
But lots of changes are coming. Google Voice should roll out publicly shortly. Users may be able to port their existing phone numbers to Google if they choose. Google’s acquisition of Gizmo5 will give the service a client soft phone plus enhanced VoIP capabilities. And who knows what part Google Voice will play in in the upcoming Google Phone.
So a little housekeeping is in order. And the first item on the checklist is to shut down the GrandCentral website on December 31, 2009. Users were upgraded to Google Voice earlier this year, but old GrandCentral messages are still on the old site. So if you want to keep them, Google suggests you download them soon.
Date: November 20, 2009 11:55:25 PM PST
Subject: The GrandCentral website is shutting down – GrandCentral is now Google Voice.
Dear GrandCentral User:
We’re writing to let you know that we will be closing down the GrandCentral website as of December 31, 2009.
All GrandCentral accounts were upgraded to Google Voice earlier this year, but since that time, you’ve still been able to log-in to your GrandCentral account and listen to old messages there. You will no longer be able to log-in to your GrandCentral account after December 31. Because of this, we strongly suggest downloading any messages or contacts that you want to keep in the next 43 days.
We will send you another reminder before closing down the site, but we suggest you take action now to download any information you want to keep.
– The Google Voice Team
And since we love Google Voice so much, I think it’s ok if we say goodbye to GrandCentral by looking back at the many times over the years that we’ve poked fun at the service. A few of my favorite missteps made by the awesome service from the GrandCentral archives:
GrandCentral A Little Too “Beta” For Some
GrandCentral’s “One Number For Life” Not Really
GrandCentral Homeless Stunt Worked So Well It’s Time For An Encore
GrandCentral Offline: If You Wanna Be A Phone Company, You Can’t Go Dead