Google to include WebRTC in Chrome, tries to compete with MicroSkype

In a move aimed squarely against Skype and its new overlords, Google is taking voice chat and videoconferencing to the land of the free and open source. According to Cnet, Google is planning to add an open source communications protocol called WebRTC into future versions of Chrome. Google developed this project as an outgrowth of its purchase of Global IP Solutions in 2010, and released it to the open source community in May 2011. In typical Google form, the plan was to take Skype-like communication technologies and capabilities, and stick them on the web, in any browser. It promised to work with other browser developers to help achieve this goal, so that developers could start writing web apps that take advantage of the open standard.

Google has already been in the multimedia teleconferencing game for some time. After releasing Voice and Video chat for its Gtalk client, re-releasing it in a mobile incarnation, and integrating its Google Voice VoIP product into new versions of Android OS, Google is ready to unleash its model on non-proprietary platforms.

Microsoft likely already has plans to heavily integrate Skype into many of its online services. If WebRTC can take off as a viable project that developers will want to use, Microsoft could see some stiff competition from developers looking for open-source and cross platform communications solutions in their web apps. Ultimately, the platform could be used to build a total Skype replacement.

WebRTC is Google’s latest attempt to bring native app capabilities to the cloud. As demonstrated in Chrome OS, Google is confident that most if not all activities done by users on a regular basis can be done from a web app. The same applies for real time multimedia communication, and WebRTC hopes to streamline and open source that goal.

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To me, Google should include more customization options and UI stuff (bookmarks sidebar, cache location in the options etc) first instead of putting new standards, protocols etc in Chrome.

I don't need this WebRTC in my Chrome installation by default.
(This WebRTC feels like bloat to me)
The built-in PDF viewer is great though.

Great, yet another repeat of WebM vs. H.264.

We don't need WebRTC. There are already existing standards out there for video conferencing, for one, H.323 developed by ITU-T, a standards body that actually knows something about the telecommunications space (unlike Google/Mozilla/Opera who are the backers of WebRTC). Google is following the same playbook: buy a company, release their stuff as "open source", call it a "standard", and bundle it into your browser.

Skype works p2p, it's not really a web service so much as a set of communication APIs to connect between clients. That doesn't mean MS isn't going to bang skype into everything though. WP and Xbox are next on the skype list, and they just added it to HP's webOS stuff as well. When skype is built into things OOTB it doesn't really matter to the end user if it's a "app" that's native or on the web.

I don't know about you but one of the main reasons I was attracted to Skype was security (encryption of all data sent). With Google's history of handing out data to whatever agency asks(encryption keys in this case), I don't see myself using this service.

funkydude said,
I don't know about you but one of the main reasons I was attracted to Skype was security (encryption of all data sent). With Google's history of handing out data to whatever agency asks(encryption keys in this case), I don't see myself using this service.

If there's am agency that ask for information that's illegal to refuse them. Google Skype anyone.

NesTle said,

If there's am agency that ask for information that's illegal to refuse them. Google Skype anyone.

There's a difference between just asking for info and having a warrant to get it. Just handing over private info without a writen legal warrant is crossing the line either way you look at it.

Baruch sharon said,
Would this mean it's absolutly free and no need for some annoying program?! Ahh. Google does it again

That's why I love Google... so cute of a company!

Baruch sharon said,
Would this mean it's absolutly free and no need for some annoying program?! Ahh. Google does it again

If its included in Chrome then there has to be a small download for other browers if its not built in.

Doli said,

If its included in Chrome then there has to be a small download for other browers if its not built in.


WebRTC is supported by FF and Opera for inclusion in W3C.
GTalk use iSAC but they are moving to VP8 for video and the proposed codec for audio is G711 and G722 wich is free to use today

if it is supported by W3C normally you don't need to download anything except for browser that don't support W3C standards.