Chrome to Natively Support Skype-like Features

Pulkit Chandna

Skype may have eventually gone to Microsoft, but that would have never happened had Redmond’s cloud-obsessed rival Google not dropped the idea of acquiring the popular VoIP service in 2009. The Internet behemoth came very close to making a bid but backed out at the last moment.

According to Wesley Chan , an investment partner at Google Ventures, the data-intensive nature of Skype’s underlying peer-to-peer technology turned out to be the deal breaker. Needless to say, the Big G has absolutely no regrets about not acquiring Skype’s “old technology” as its own efforts seem to be coming along nicely. It has now announced plans to add Skype-like real-time communication (RTC) features into Chrome using its open-source WebRTC initiative.

“Our goal is to enable Chrome with Real-Time Communications (RTC) capabilities via simple Javascript APIs,” Henrik Andreasson, a Google programmer, wrote on Friday . “We are working hard to provide full RTC support in Chrome all the way from WebKit down to the native audio and video parts. When we are done, any web developer shall be able to create RTC  applications, like the Google Talk client in Gmail, without using any plugins but only WebRTC components that runs in the sandbox. “

Besides Google, the WebRTC project also has the backing of Mozilla and Opera. It will eliminate the dependence of RTC applications like Google Voice and Video Chat on pesky browser plugins. Browsers from all three vendors are expected to begin shipping with WebRTC support very soon.

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