Google Chrome going after Skype next?

Summary:Google is gearing up to add real-time video and audio chat functionality right into the Chrome browser.

A post to the Google Chromium-dev discussion group indicates that the search giant is gearing up to add real-time video and audio chat functionality right into the Chrome browser. At the core of that initiative is Google's own WebRTC project, and if it's successful, Google could extend it to competing browsers like Opera and Firefox.

The WebRTC project is a joint effort by Google, Mozilla, and Opera, designed to enable real-time communication (RTC) with simple JavaScript APIs in a manner best described as "Skype-like." When WebRTC is implemented in the Chrome browser, developers - or even Google itself - should be able to build HTML5 web apps that let users make and receive video calls.

Now, Gmail and Google Talk users can already make video and audio calls from the browser. But by building it into the Google Chrome browser, it opens the door for all kinds of new chat services and apps. If it works, Opera and Mozilla Firefox will very likely follow suit in their own software.

Skype is the market leader in teleconferencing - it's why Microsoft bought them, after all. But with the backing of three major browsers, can WebRTC end Skype's reign?

Topics: Browser, Collaboration, Google, Social Enterprise

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