I’ve been using Google Hangouts for calls for the last hour (it seemed to roll out quickly on the Chromebook Pixel) and if this is the future of Google Voice – as the stewards of the Gmail Blog say it is – I’m suitably stoked. But still nervous.
There was a lot of concern about what would happen to Voice in the wake of the Reader execution, and those worries remains strong. Aside from better voice recognition (which is huge), there’s no obvious profit advantage for Google to continue the service. That freaks me out and millions of other active Voice users.
If the transition from Voice to Hangouts lets us continue to use our chosen numbers in a more intuitive and feature-rich way (MMS please), I’m on board. But if Google can’t even get behind an open standard like RSS or XMPP, I’ll continue to have one foot near the door.