Last November Google acquired Gizmo5, a VoIP service that competed with Skype by making P2P VoIP calls as well as making and receiving calls with POTS (normal landlines) and mobile phones.
Gizmo5 fills some of the holes in the Google Voice product, particularly providing an endpoint for calls. Currently Google Voice users must assign their Google Voice phone number to an actual phone to make and receive calls.
Google never commented on how they might use Gizmo5’s technology. But we’ve confirmed that they have now built a Google Voice desktop application to make and receive calls. From a user perspective, this will let Google Voice users take calls right from their desktop.
When will the new application launch? Possibly soon. Earlier this week Google started testing the application internally. This “dogfooding” of products (as in “eating your own dog food”) is a step that Google and many other companies take before launching something publicly, to iron out any problems that pop up.