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Friday, August 26, 2005

Google warms up for online voice calls

Google yesterday opened a new front in the internet turf war with the launch of an instant messaging system that will allow users to make voice calls over the net.

The company is striving to expand its services beyond its search engine and hopes "Google Talk" will enable it to do so.

It will take on AOL, currently the US market leader in instant messaging with 41m people signed up, and Skype, tops in internet phone calls with 51m users worldwide.

Google dominates search - a position it hopes to translate into success in messaging and internet telephony.

However, analysts cautioned yesterday that persuading users to switch to Google from their current messaging system could meet inertia.

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