Microsoft is working to bring Real Time Communications (RTC) to Internet Explorer by leveraging expertise from Skype and Lync. However this RTC won’t be locked down to only Skype and Lync. The plan is to work together with W3C and IETF to create an open standard everyone can use. This is a critical step in keeping Microsoft technology highly compatible and cross-platform.
Real time communication is an essential tool for most people in the modern world. Communicating via chat in a WebApp has been done many times but VoIP and video conferencing is a different animal. Currently VoIP clients require compatible software and proprietary technology to work. There is also no cross-platform communication, so Skype only calls with Skype, Hangouts with Hangouts, etc. The future will hopefully hold a more open and compatible approach to RTC.
Microsoft is working on improving IE to be advanced and up-to-date. Although Microsoft doesn’t want to invest their time into standards and technology which will not be adopted. So when it comes to breaking into new standards for the web working together is the best option. So an API is being developed to enable RTC in the most compatible way.
Focusing on compatibility will hopefully drive adoption. Using the most common video and audio codecs will make more devices compatible without any changes. Also by working with standards organizations like World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Microsoft hopes to develop a standard which will be adopted by big companies like Google and Apple.
The ideal outcome would create an API which can be used with all consumer and business devices. This includes devices like SIP-based VoIP endpoints, “Public Switched Telephone Networks” and “video Teleconferencing” systems. By laying a ground work of open APIs, Microsoft is hoping that real time communication via the browser will be widely used and improved.Further reading: Internet Explorer, Microsoft