Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Google Voice Admits Students

Google on Friday began making priority invitations to its Google Voice service available to students.

Anyone with an .edu e-mail address who signs up for Google Voice is being promised a Google voice invitation within 24 hours.

Image Gallery: The Top 16 Google Services
(click for larger image and for full photo gallery)

Launched in March 2009, Google Voice is available only by invitation. It provides a single phone number that can be used to route incoming calls to all of the user's phones, free SMS messaging, and a variety of call management and conferencing features.

It can also be used without a Google phone number as an online voicemail service, with speech-to-text transcription, custom greetings, low-cost international calling, notification options and message sharing capabilities.

Google believes that students can benefit from using Google Voice to manage their phone calls.

"We've heard college students in particular really appreciate getting their voicemail sent to their e-mail, sending free text messages and reading voicemail transcriptions rather than listening to messages (especially handy while in class)," said Google's Jason Toff in a blog post.

In reaching out to students, Google is following a proven long-term strategy for developing a loyal user base. Apple's strength in the education market in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s helped sustain the company until Steve Jobs returned to revive it.

Microsoft more recently has also been reaching out to younger users with the launch of, which allows Facebook users to share Office files online. The company wants to make sure that the generation of computer users who have grown up on the Web remain familiar with its products from the desktop era.

Google Voice is available only in the U.S. and the company is offering only one invitation per .edu e-mail address.