Microsoft Plans Skype Calls Without Plug-In Via Internet Explorer

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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In-browser Skype calls are on the horizon after Microsoft backs ORTC and WebRTC technology

Microsoft plans to let Internet Explorer users make Skype calls to friends, family and colleagues directly from their browser and without the need to download a plug-in.

The company is working with World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and other community members on the Object Real Time Communications (ORTC) API for the Web Real Time Communications (WebRTC) standard.

The aim is to provide a seamless transition from WebRTC 1.0 to JavaScript object based real time communications and the technology could eventually allow for a range of features ranging from simple video conversations to multi-party conference calls.

Skype Internet Explorer

SkypeAdvertMicrosoft says it experience with Skype and Lync will allow it to make meaningful contributions to the project and has pledged to continue to innovate and offer better codecs as the technology matures.

“This is just the beginning of our implementation effort in IE.  We’re working closely with the web community to improve other existing standards for richer video interoperability, for example, features to adapt to changing bandwidth conditions and more,” says Shijun Sun, senior program manager, Internet Explorer.

“In addition, Microsoft’s goal is to move forward to the future without compromising the present – and ensure easier interoperability between web browsers and billions of existing communications endpoints, including SIP-based VoIP endpoints, ‘Public Switched Telephone Networks’ and ‘Video Teleconferencing” systems.’”

Last week, Mozilla announced plans for Firefox Hello, a VoIP service that makes use of WebRTC technology. Conversations can be had with any other web user, so long as they are using a WebRTC-compatible browser like Firefox, Chrome or Opera.

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