Edge will support Skype calls without a plugin

Skype has announced that Microsoft's new web browser, Edge, will soon support Skype voice and video calls without the need for a plugin.

This will work for new versions of both Skype for Web and Skype for Outlook.com, and should be implemented “later this year”. Considering that this year has just over three months to go, it’s safe to assume it will come pretty fast.

“Starting later this year, Skype users will be able to make voice and video calls without needing to install a plug-in on Microsoft Edge and we are working on bringing the same seamless experience to Skype for Business,” it says on the Skype blog.

How is this possible, you might ask? Microsoft has recently released Windows 10 preview build 10547, which features a lot of tweaks and improvements, but also a preview of the Object RTC (ORTC) APIs for Microsoft Edge.

Object RTC is a collection of tools which will make it easier for developers to build audio and video calling into Web apps without the need for a browser plugin. However, ORTC is not Microsoft’s technology, PC World explains, but rather a broader effort of which Microsoft is part.

“We’re thrilled about the exciting scenarios that ORTC APIs enable and we are proud to be one of the first to use these ORTC APIs in the Edge Browser,” Skype says in the blog post.

“The ORTC APIs will enable us to develop advanced real-time communications scenarios – like group video calls with participants all on different browsers and operating systems – using features like Simulcast and Scalable Video Coding (SVC), all while preserving the ability to easily interop with existing telephony networks.”