Microsoft releases demo of its proposed web audio-video chat standard

Microsoft is trying to push for the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to officially certify a new standard for web browsers to handle audio and video chat. Today, the company released a "working prototype" of such a system that uses the CU-RTC-Web (Customizable, Ubiquitous Real-Time Communication) standard.

The demo allows users who have a Chrome browser running on Mac OS X to chat with people who run Internet Explorer 10 on Windows. In a blog post, Microsoft said it submitted its API proposal to the W3C in August 2012 and also released revisions to the standard in October 2012.

Microsoft stated:

The proposal generated both positive interest and healthy skeptical concern from working group members. One common concern was that it was too radically different from the existing approach, which many believed to be almost ready for formal standardization.

The "existing approach" is WebRTC, which the W3C has been considering for some time. Microsoft says that WebRTC is , " ... far from complete and stable, and needs considerable refinement and clarification before formal standardization and before it’s used to build interoperable implementations."

CNet.com points out that WebRTC works on both Chrome and Firefox but that the standard doesn't allow for a video or audio chat to take place between those two browsers.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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19 Comments

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Firefox is funded by Google so therefore Google will make it sound like Firefox can use the technology, but in reality they want Chrome to win so that's why it can't communicate with Firefox or vice-versa. And in the end all Google wants is to restrict Microsoft's IE from using Google's service, that way Google has full control and can track and record all your conversations and sell the data to the feds and the advertisers.

So this is no standard, it's Google's very own non-standard. Google always tries very hard to create it's own non-standards and shoving it down user's throats so they can twist people's arms in adopting their crap.

Thank you Microsoft for trying to intervene and put an end (hopefully) to the madness with real open standards.

Microsoft submits a proposed standard.

Google issues a press release that they're backing a more limited, but competing standard, and it'll be in the next version of Chrome in 3...2....

Why is it when Microsoft does cool stuff like this, its viewed with suspicion, when in fact most of their work uses open standards.

When Apple introduces yet another proprietary expensive protocol, everyone falls over themselves trying to support it.

Defcon said,
Why is it when Microsoft does cool stuff like this, its viewed with suspicion, when in fact most of their work uses open standards.

When Apple introduces yet another proprietary expensive protocol, everyone falls over themselves trying to support it.

It is 'something' for this to even make news. Microsoft has contributed a ton of technology that has been given freely to various standards, but 99% of the time, people don't even notice.

Apple likes to have a 'showcase our crap' type of release, which gets the press involved.

As I have said before there is a TON of Microsoft technology in just hardware alone inside every Android and iPhone, yet 99% of the tech people couldn't even name one of the technologies, let alone end users ever noticing. This is also true of software technologies.
(And I'm just using phone technology as one example, because there is Microsoft tech in a majority of software and hardware technology in use that has no Microsoft branding.)

Because Apple Market better...

When Microsoft do something they release a "working prototype", make a technical post about it and name it as CU-RTC-Web (Customizable, Ubiquitous Real-Time Communication) standard.

When Apple do something they keep it secret for years and hold an invite only event. They then invite all the press teams as "selected" invitees and make the announcement using the word "new" and/or "revolutionary". The presentation is then ended with a marketing slogan such as:

iTalk - Efficient, shiny and now works across all browsers.*

*T&C apply: Safari included free - to to enable cross browser video chat separate adapter purchase necessary.

torrentthief said,
i bet microsoft's version makes it so that microsoft can spy on us. I'll wait to see what mozilla's comments are about this.

What....... you mean they will be able to see the logs just like MSN Messenger, Skype, IRC, Yahoo Messenger, Google Talk, ICQ and countless others?

Mozilla can't even code a stable 64bit browser, so this is most likely well beyond them.

Toysoldier said,

What....... you mean they will be able to see the logs just like MSN Messenger, Skype, IRC, Yahoo Messenger, Google Talk, ICQ and countless others?

Mozilla can't even code a stable 64bit browser, so this is most likely well beyond them.

Oh that's funny, you got an opinion.

torrentthief said,
i bet microsoft's version makes it so that microsoft can spy on us. I'll wait to see what mozilla's comments are about this.

How cute, when GVoice is the only known service that keeps logs and stores audio from conversations that Google voice processes/mines.

If you are going to be paranoid, at least pay attention to the Zombie chewing on your arm before worrying about if there is one around the corner.

WebRTC is supported by Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, but it's not possible today to set up a WebRTC link across the two browsers, Kaufman said.

I thought CNET did the leg-work on determining that, but it was just the guy from Microsoft.

I meant to quote billyea...

"WebRTC works on both Chrome and Firefox but that the standard doesn't allow for a video or audio chat to take place between those two browsers"

... so it's not a standard.

billyea said,
"WebRTC works on both Chrome and Firefox but that the standard doesn't allow for a video or audio chat to take place between those two browsers"

... so it's not a standard.

It can be a standard but not provide a mechanism for interoperability.

(However, as you note it is less than desirable and not the best solution going forward for a real 'standard' to provide the functionally and remain browser/client agnostic.)

Microsoft's proposal provides a seamless experience across devices if implemented.

There's no technical reason why they shouldn't be able to communicate, in fact a lot of code is shared so it should work perfectly fine.

That said, I can't find a single WebRTC app that currently works across browsers, they either require Chrome or require Firefox. That's not a fault of the technology or standards, they're just badly written.

The_Decryptor said,
There's no technical reason why they shouldn't be able to communicate, in fact a lot of code is shared so it should work perfectly fine.

That said, I can't find a single WebRTC app that currently works across browsers, they either require Chrome or require Firefox. That's not a fault of the technology or standards, they're just badly written.

Or it could be the standard is badly written and allows two implementations to conform to the standard, whilst still being incompatible. That is exactly what the standardisation process is all about, making it so that two conforming implementations are always compatible and it is a difficult task; hence they take so long to finalise.