WebRTC to power Skype as a web browser application

The Skype and Internet Explorer teams at Microsoft are working on developing the ORTC API for WebRTC. ORTC API will be a key enabler to make Real-Time Communications on the Web. In this connection, Skype has already released a beta version of Skype for Web last week. The news at Skype.com says that "Skype for Web makes it quicker and easier than ever before to connect with friends, family, and colleagues around the world, for free – directly from Skype.com". Skype for Web will allow users to send and receive messages and make voice and video calls directly from any Web browser without downloading and installing Skype software.

On the other hand, WebRTC is an open project that allows Internet users to communicate in real-time via voice and video by using any browser compatible with WebRTC. It enables Web application developers to include real-time video calling and data sharing capabilities. This capability can range from multi-player games to video conferencing tools. Over 80 participants from different continents and from different interest groups are actively collaborating with the W3C. Microsoft is also an active participant and looking to contribute and influence standards of ORTC API for WebRTC.

Jonathan Watson, a senior product marketing manager at Skype said in a blog last week that It's perfect if you are sitting at a computer connected to the internet and you don't already have Skype downloaded or maybe you are traveling and using an internet café or hotel computer whatever the reason may be. He said now with Skype for Web on Skype.com, you'll need to simply sign in and you'll be able to connect and start instant messaging directly from your browser.

At the moment, Skype for Web is in beta and for the time being, this version will require a browser plug-in before it will work. However, Microsoft has already started working to integrate it with the Web real-time communications (WebRTC) standard. Then, perhaps in near future, the next major release of Skype might not even require any browser plug-in to connect and making voice and video calls.

Watson further said, "With WebRTC, there won't be any downloads or installs – you can just get straight to your conversation".