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Google Takes On Microsoft's Skype With Voice-aware Chrome

Google, it seems, is gradually turning its browser, Chrome, into an all singing, all dancing communication platform and its latest move, adding an open source project, WebRTC to Chrome, hints at an even bolder move.

The web giant released WebRTC as an open source project in a bid to build momentum towards getting it as a "Web standard for videoconferencing and peer-to-peer communications", something that is rapidly becoming a hotly contested area following the acquisition of Skype by Microsoft earlier this year.

Google published a blog post (opens in new tab) saying that the technology will, like Android, be open-source and royalty-free and will work with Mozilla and Opera (the only two browsers mentioned) to "implement the technology for us by the broader web community".

WebRTC originated from a company called GIPS (Global IP Solutions) which Google acquired last year and specialises in Internet Telephony and Video conferencing. Google apparently saw it as a perfect complement to Gmail, its free email service that comes with Google Chat built in.

Ultimately, Google wants to allow its Chrome browser to offer Real-time Communication capabilities via simple Javascript APIs that can be easily adopted by web and mobile developers alike.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.