Google Adds Phone Calls to Linux Gmail Use
Five days after the announcement of Voice and Video Chat service in Gmail for Debian-based Linux distributions, Google unveiled a Gmail phone call service for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Rather than having both parties tied to their computers and logged into their Gmail accounts, one user can now call anyone in the US and Canada with telephone service. Google states that rates will remain free for the rest of the year and very low for international calls.
Google continues by saying that dialing from Gmail is just like using your phone. Just click "Call phone" in your chat list and dial the number on the number pad that appears. One could even use a contact name if there is a phone number associated with it. The browser plug-in has been tested extensively internally by Google and found to be quite useful. While Google Voice isn't required, it will provide certain benefits such as Caller ID and the ability to receive phone calls from inside Gmail.
Interested Debian derivative users can find and install the plug-in from www.google.com.