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.
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.