In June, Microsoft posted up a job listing for its Skype division that hinted strongly that the company could be using the WebRTC API to help build a web version of the popular Internet phone and video service. Now it looks like Microsoft has proposed its own version of WebRTC that differs from another version that has the backing of Google and others.
GigaOM reports that Microsoft has now submitted its proposal for what it calls "Customizable, Ubiquitous Real Time Communication over the Web,” or CU-RTC-Web, to the official W3C WebRTC working group. WebRTC is supposed to offer users a plug-in free experience for web-based voice and video chat services. Google has put in their own version of the WebRTC APIs in its Chrome browser, as have Mozilla and Opera.
However, Microsoft doesn't want to put in WebRTC for Internet Explorer just yet. It would like to see WebRTC supported on older devices. Matthew Kaufman, the head of Microsoft's WebRTC efforts, said, "The history of voice over IP is filled with incompatibility." He is still hopeful that all of the interested parties can come together to create a WebRTC standard that everyone can use.
In the meantime, it's possible that a web-based version of Skype could be launched by Microsoft using its new CU-RTC-Web API while the company works with Google, Mozilla and others to formalize the standard.