Google offering free calls from Gmail

Stateside service gives free calls to landlines in US and Canada

New offering lets you dial pals straight from tour Gmail homepage.

Google is squaring up to Skype today with a new Calls from Gmail service, which allows punters to make calls to landlines and mobiles directly from their Gmail homepage.

The new offering is only available in the US and Canada for now, where users will be able to make free calls to landlines until the end of 2010, a move bound to get Skype worried. International calls to the UK, China, France and Germany will cost just 2 cents a minute.

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- Google Sky Map App Review
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Google’s Craig Walker has said the new service will make calling online even easier. “[Users] don't need to download an additional application or anything to start making really high-quality low-cost calls. For the user it means much more efficient and low-cost communications,” he said.

There’s no news as yet when us Brits can get involved, but the new package could mean even more punters start making calls from their PC to landlines and mobiles.