Microsoft has officially announced its support for the W3C web Real Time Communication working group by announcing its own standard called the Customizable, Ubiquitous Real Time Communication over the Web,” or CU-RTC-Web. This new standard is different than the one used by others like Google and other browser providers.
WebRTC is a HTML5 based feature used by latest browser, which enables video and audio communication to be done via the browser without the use of additional plugins. This kind of technology is now useful for Microsoft because in the near future, it will definitely bring Skype over to the browser. Gigaom reports that Microsoft is already working on a browser app for Skype which will let the Skype app work on all HTML5 supported browsers and additionally, WebRTC based Skype app would also allow Skype video chats to be cross linked with other video conference services such as Google Hangout and other similar services.
Gigaom’s Janko Roettgers reports that Matthew Kaufman, principal architect for Microsoft-Skype on WebRTC, told him that, “both Skype and Microsoft have been closely involved in the work on a WebRTC standard at the IETF and the W3C since 2010. However, until now, this work has been pretty quiet – especially if you compare it to other browser vendors. Google was an early vocal supporter of WebRTC, and the company recently included key parts of the technology in the stable version of Chrome. Both Mozilla and Opera also ship browsers that already support WebRTC functionality.”
Microsoft’s Customizable, Ubiquitous Real Time Communication over the Web mainly differs from the Google supported standard in the way browsers offer support to codecs. Microsoft believes, the present standard is not flexible enough and also does not support legacy devices, which Microsoft want to change. ““Flexibility in its support of popular media formats and codecs as well as openness to future innovation – A successful standard cannot be tied to individual codecs, data formats or scenarios.”, a recent Microsoft blog read.
Microsoft’s recently upgraded, Outlook.com which will also replace Hotmail, already supports Skype video cahts on browsers but they use plugins and are not WebRTC based. If Microsoft’s proposal does become the standard Skype for Windows won’t be far.
Category: Tech News