Google Looks to the Crowd to Take On Microsoft and Skype

Chris CrumIT Management

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Google was already starting to compete with Skype a little, by releasing things like video chat within Gmail, but Gmail is only a small segment of people in the broader landscape of web users. Now Google is thinking bigger, and it has to, if it wants to compete directly in this space, as the company's arch rival Microsoft now owns Skype.

By bigger, that is, from the browser itself.

A little over a year ago, Google purchased Global IP Solutions (or GIPS) for $68 million. Now, they're using the technology from that in the WebRTC initiative, an open source project for third party developers to create communication apps.

"With WebRTC, we’d like to make the browser the home for innovation in real time communications," Google says. Of course, Google's browser is also its operating system.

"As a first significant step toward integrating the WebRTC project into Chrome the WebRTC code is now about to land in Chromium as third party software at src/third_party/webrtc. This means that the crucial media processing capabilities necessary to implement real-time communication are available as a part of Chromium," the company announced. "We are working hard to complete the remaining steps for a full integration in Chromium and Chrome including JavaScript APIs in WebKit and handling of the native audio and video capture and rendering. 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."

Blog Post: WebRTC taking it's first baby step towards Chrome! 1 day ago via web · powered by @socialditto

The company says there is currently now free, hiqh quality, complete solution that enables communication in the browser, but that WebRTC enables this. The package includes audio, video, and network components.

Google is not charging for use of the technology. The code can be accessed here.

Developers don't have to release the code for their products that take advantage of the open source code.

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.