A month ago it was Feedburner...now it’s Grand Central. If you’re unfamiliar with Grand Central, it’s effectively a portable, local phone number that you own for life, that can be set up to ring at any number(s) of your choosing. For example, if you have a Grand Central number for your business, the inbound calls will ring to cell, office, and say a remote office number if you’d like. There are many more features that you can read about yourself, but the bottom line is that this plays right into Google’s world domination plan.
Read this piece about Google’s purchase of "dark fiber" lines and massive bandwidth to completely circumvent the telcos offerings. I think GOOG is building the server farms, buying the bandwidth, owning the applications, providing the wi-fi(wi-max), delivering the mobile apps (gmail and maps for mobile phones) and partnering with the right companies to provide a completely ubiquitous solution that bypasses and disrupts the typical channels. If your iPhone has wifi and you can make/receive calls on it in 90% of metro markets for "free" in the future, doesn’t Verizon become a little less important? Having one phone number controlled by the Google…where ads could served based on the content of the message????? would be interesting right? Give permission for the Google bot to use analytic key word analysis in your CONVERSATION to produce the right kinds of ads. Heck they do it gmail right now. (They promise the content isn’t used for any other purpose).
Do you think Apple is a player in this scheme? Is the iPhone the first Googlephone? Wouldn’t it make sense for the GOOG to deliver its message and apps across the hippest, coolest, most radical devices out there? Imagine Googletunes where the music (or much of it…)was free if you listened to ad snippets before the song started.
Heck, both companies have the same last 2 letters in their names, there’s some synergy there.