Microsoft Is Gearing Up for a Browser-Based Skype

Via the Customizable, Ubiquitous Real-Time Communication over the Web proposal

Redmond-based software giant Microsoft is reportedly gearing up for the launch of a browser-based version of Skype, and the company has already taken the first steps in this direction.

On Monday, the company announced its proposal for a plugin-free real-time communication, called CU-RTC-Web, or “Customizable, Ubiquitous Real Time Communication over the Web.”

This is Microsoft’s contribution to the W3C WebRTC working group, which is focused on coming up with a common API to enable voice and video chat between browsers.

According to a recent article on GigaOM, this is a big deal for Microsoft, as the company has been long working on coming up with a browser-based flavor of Skype to go along with the currently available variants of the application.

Through WebRTC, the Redmond-based software giant, said to have been long working on a browser flavor of Skype, could make the communication software available on a wide range of browsers without the need of installing an application or a plug-in.

Additionally, the move would provide Microsoft with the possibility to make Skype interoperable with other similar services, such as Google Talk.

Although Microsoft made no official announcement regarding its plans in this area, the fact that Matthew Kaufman, principal architect for Microsoft-Skype on WebRTC is supervising the entire process says a lot, the news site reports.

Microsoft bought Skype last year, and many have been wondering what the company’s plans for the VoIP application were.

Skype was already integrated into Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform, and is currently available for the users of Windows, Android, iOS and other platforms out there.

Apparently, through pushing Skype to WebRTC, Microsoft might eliminate a wide range of challenges that VoIP companies encounter today, and could allow for increased flexibility.

However, it remains to be seen how the implementation will go in the end, as it appears that there are different points of view regarding the codecs that should be used for the real-time communications standard.

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