Why Is Google Teaming Up With A Former Tea Importer For VoIP?

from the just-wondering... dept

We had decided to skip over the story making the rounds about Google teaming up with VoIP Inc., most likely as a way to add a connection between its Google Talk product and the traditional (PSTN) phone system. It wasn’t that interesting, because everyone knew they were going to eventually connect to the phone system, and the details of how or with whom didn’t seem worth digging into… except once you realize what some of those details are. Credit goes to Om Malik for reminding us of VoIP Inc.’s… er… colorful past that we wrote about a few years ago. The company was run by a convicted felon (for robbery) (update: correcting a point here. We’ve been alerted that the old exec is no longer directly associated with the management team or the board of the company), began its life as a tea importing company, and eventually became VoIP Inc. through a reverse merger, and involves plenty of other questionable activities. Light Reading notes that the deal isn’t officially about Google Talk, but just for Google’s new click to call initiative, though lots of people expect it to eventually expand to the Talk product as well. Either way, it seems like an odd company for Google to team up with.

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Comments on “Why Is Google Teaming Up With A Former Tea Importer For VoIP?”

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Arnold Mehau says:

VoIP Inc?

VoIP Inc. has never been anything but a PR factory. Lots of BS and no substance. They picked right up where Shawn Lewis left off when they acquired his company in a fire sale and made him CTO. ‘Lewis, by far is the biggest blowhard in the VoIP business and is a convicted felon to boot. At best VoIP Inc is a small reseller of CLEC connections. This is just one more PR stunt and I bet the Google folks are far from happy!

A Funny Guy / The Poison Pen says:

Re: VoIP Inc?

Remember – Convited felon can apply to alot of people now a days…..

There are around 100 new laws pasted each day and no one can keep up with it all.

Lets sit back and see if this guy can deliver a good useable product and make his money honestly.

Everybody deserves to be given the opportuity to make it…… legally.

The fact this man is a convictied felon should never have been brough up unless he is doing something illegal NOW.

That is in his past and all we can hope is that he has learned a lesson he needed to learn and has now mended his ways..

A kinder and gentler – Poinson Pen ( DOn’t worrry its only temporary ) :()

Anonymous Coward says:

Do no evil . . .

Google is a great search tool, I use their instant messenger (me and the 5 other people I know 🙂 …) and I love GMail and Google Maps. I don’t use them because of a mantra, I use them because “they just work” and they don’t do much more than that.
My point is, if teaming up with VoIP Inc., because of their “shady past”, causes their Instant Messenger talk capabilities to just *not* work, or in other ways impacts my life where a competing solution does not, I won’t use it.
I am surprised at the number of stories that are hitting the blogs that imply Google is “doing evil” (China Censoring, DRM) or associating themselves with companies that are traditionally seen as Evil (AOL, now VoIP Inc.).Personally, I don’t ever trust a company or person that goes out of their way to say they’re “Not Evil”. When you’re “Not Evil”, it is apparent in your actions (Support of open source projects, unobtrusive advertising that is actually useful, paying those who display your ads a fair wage, explicit statement if your company’s policies and having strict accountability when someone within your company violates your own rules).
I’m beginning to wonder if what is really being seen here is “If you repeat something enough times, it becomes true.”

haggie says:


Why do companies persist in creating new IM clients?

I use Trillian Pro and am able to IM with anyone regardless of which half-baked closed IM that my friends or co-workers get suckered into using (AOL, ICQ, Y!, MSN, Google, Jabber).

If Google really wanted to DO GOOD they would have partnered with Cerulean Studios, the makers of Trillian. THAT would have been a really interesting IM play…

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