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Gmail calls: Free to the US through 2011, Google says

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(Read caption) Google has extended free Gmail calling for US users.

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Gmail calls to US and Canadian phones will remain free through 2011, Google announced today, framing the decision as an early holiday gift to users.

"When we launched calling in Gmail back in August, we wanted it to be easy and affordable, so we made calls to the US and Canada free for the rest of 2010," Google Software Engineer Robin Schriebman wrote in a post on the company blog this week. "In the spirit of holiday giving and to help people keep in touch in the new year, we’re extending free calling for all of 2011."

The Gmail calling functionality saw traffic from upwards of a million users in its first day of service, but as IDC analyst Rosalind Craven told Computerworld, the extension of free US calls could mean interest in the platform has tailed off.

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