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Google acquires phone company, tracks flu shot locations

Original post made by Googlewatch, News on Mountain View's largest employer, on Nov 12, 2009

Google could soon be a major player in the phone service industry. The company confirmed Thursday that it has purchased Gizmo5, a company that competes with Skype, albeit with fewer users.

Analysts say that by combining Gizmo5's features with Google Voice, the acquisition could allow Google to use VOIP to compete with the likes of AT&T and cut the cost of cell phone and land line service.

"While we don't have any specific features to announce right now, Gizmo5's engineers will be joining the Google Voice team to continue improving the Google Voice and Gizmo5 experience," said product managers Wesley Chan and Craig Walker in a post on the Google Voice blog.

Wired magazine has [Web Link an analysis of the acquisition], which was reported in an "exclusive" on the Post's [Web Link tech blog.]Google reportedly spent $30 million for the company.

In other news, Google has begun to track the availability of flu shots using Google Maps. Users can type in their zip code at [Web Link google.com/flushot] and the nearest flu and H1N1 shots show up as syringe-shaped place markers on the map.

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