Skype has finally decided to bring its VoIP and video platform to the web in an effort to better compete with a new wave of companies leveraging browser-based WebRTC technology. Today, they announced Skype for Web (Beta) which works with Chrome, Firefox and IE 10 or above. Recently, I mentioned how Microsoft has really been making some smart moves lately which make the company more relevant and ORTC/WebRTC support is certainly one of the most important areas in the communications space. My colleague Doug Mohney agrees when he says this isn’t your father’s Microsoft.
The simple reality about this move is it may make it tougher to compete with Skype as a pure WebRTC video or audio play as Skype obviously has a bigger name and bundles its solution with other Microsoft products.
The positive way of looking at this move is it will help make users more comfortable with browser-based communications and frankly, this is good for the entire web-based RTC space.
One has to wonder what sorts of new innovations we will see in the space – how will people bundle solutions leveraging WebRTC into their applications? Moreover, how big will mobile adoption be? Who will be the next-gen providers of RTC solutions which compete with Skype?
There are lots of fascinating questions to be asked and if you’re curious, be sure to logon to your Skype account on the web and look for an invite to try it out. By the way, I didn’t see the invite when I logged in so it may take some time for you to see it as well.
To learn more about the wild world of WebRTC, be at WebRTC Expo V next week in San Jose.