According to the reliable, yet unofficial, Google Operating System blog, Google is apparently testing a new feature in Gmail. As part of Gmail's chat program, Google has integrated Google Voice functionality. The new feature allows users to make phone calls directly from their PC using the Google Voice service.
Utilizing VoIP (voice-over-IP) technology, the new calling system is able to start a voice connection from the Internet and connect it to a regular phone line, just like Skype. This new capability is opened through a phone icon inside of the Gmail chat window. When clicked on, it launches a dialpad and allows you to find a contact, see your credit balance, and place a call.
We've known for some time now that Google has been testing a VoIP enabled desktop version of their Google Voice client. Perhaps this is what became of it. Ever since Google acquired Gizmo5, the Mountain View company has been anything but shy of their intentions to combine their VoIP technology with Google Voice. Gmail integration could become the first publicly released lovechild born from this acquisition. Should Google roll VoIP functionality into their Google Voice app for smartphones, users would be able to make unlimited calls through their Google supplied phone number, as long as they are connected to the Internet. This could signal the end of carrier voice packages. This is just what Google fans have been waiting for.