Mozilla Firefox Hello Is Open Browser-Based Skype Rival

Mozilla is testing out a feature that will let Firefox users have voice and video conversations with other web users, without the need to download proprietary software or even for the recipient to be using the same browser.

Firefox Hello uses Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC) and is built directly into Firefox.

Firefox Hello

Users don’t even have to sign-in to use the service, something which Mozilla says differentiates Hello from other communications services like Skype that require people to surrender their personal information.

The feature is being rolled out to Firefox Beta users over the next few weeks, with chats initiated by clicking the ‘chat bubble’ inside the customisation menu. Recipients don’t even have to be using Firefox, so long as they are using a WebRTC browser like Chrome or Opera.

Mozilla is working with Telefonica on Firefox Hello, which uses the Spanish operator’s OpenTok communications platform. The partnership extends the two organisations’ existing relationship, which has centred around the open source Firefox OS mobile operating system.

Telefonica has helped bring 12 Firefox OS devices to 24 countries, as Mozilla seeks to bring low-cost smartphones to as many people as possible as part of its mission to improve access to the Internet. In August, the cheapest smartphone running the operating system was released in India, costing just £20.

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Steve McCaskill

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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