Voice Calling Appears In Gmail [UPDATED]

Do you have a Gmail account? If so, you can make phone calls from it. Seriously. Google has made this feature official in this blog entry:

Calls to the U.S. and Canada will be free for at least the rest of the year and calls to other countries will be billed at our very low rates. We worked hard to make these rates really cheap (see comparison table) with calls to the U.K., France, Germany, China, Japan—and many more countries—for as little as $0.02 per minute.

Okay. That sounds cool, but what if you have Google Voice? No worries. They have you covered:

If you have a Google Voice phone number, calls made from Gmail will display this number as the outbound caller ID. And if you decide to, you can receive calls made to this number right inside Gmail (see instructions).

So what if you don’t see voice calling in your Gmail account?

We’re rolling out this feature to U.S. based Gmail users over the next few days, so you’ll be ready to get started once “Call Phones” shows up in your chat list (you will need to install the voice and video plug-in if you haven’t already). If you’re not a U.S. based user—or if you’re using Google Apps for your school or business—then you won’t see it quite yet. We’re working on making this available more broadly—so stay tuned!

Skype should be worried. Very Worried.

UPDATE: I’m in Canada and this feature appears in my Gmail account, so it looks likes Canadians get this feature as well.

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