WebRTC World Feature Article

October 29, 2014

Is Ericsson's Browser a True Competitor to Chrome?


By TMCnet Special Guest
Laurence Chandler, Marketing Manager, Drum Web Meetings

Ericson recently announced the decision to relaunch its Web browser supporting WebRTC again. This provides additional Internet users access to WebRTC functionality. However, what does this mean for Chrome and WebRTC when considering the bigger picture?

We have spoken quite frequently about the benefits of WebRTC as well as what could be potentially holding the technology back from being a success. A point being raised is that various browsers supporting the technology and the success of WebRTC are relying on additional browsers to support the technology. As such, we ask the question:

“Is Ericsson’s “Bowser” going to prove to be a competitor of Chrome?”

Firstly, Bowser represents a significantly smaller quantity of users to that of Chrome. The reach of Bowser is insignificant to that of Chrome.

Secondly, Bowser has been released as a browser for developers to test their products rather than as a route to market.

As such, Bowser is an insignificant competitor to Chrome for its WebRTC functionality. The current user quantity and the reasons for the launch demonstrate they are not looking to target the user base, but rather develop future applications within a live environment and with live users.

Ericsson is likely going to be developing its own apps to utilize WebRTC as they see the need for both the customer and organization to have such functionality and capabilities. This might also signify Ericson expecting the telecommunications industry to change over the coming years to a more Web-based approach.

But what does it demonstrate?

Bowser is only helping the movement of WebRTC, just like IE. The continued development of alternative browsers supporting WebRTC functions is helping to reduce the barriers to entry for the technology. Chrome is reliant on alternative browsers supporting the technology to ensure it is a success. The wider adoption to support the technology will continue to attract developers and end users alike.

At the same time, Bowser represents the need to support the technology within a smaller market. The need for WebRTC to be supported within the smaller browsers is just as important as it is within the larger browsers. The technology will initially see its usage more evident within larger corporations. However, it is a tool with the capability to help SME’s reach their customer base and be more accessible.

WebRTC, in recent months, has seen a dramatic increase in awareness and demand within the industry and amongst end users. Additional browsers coming up against Chrome supporting WebRTC will at first help the technology to be adopted mainstream. IE have also seen rapid developments within the browser as they look to include WebRTC functionality support within their next release. The additional browsers should not be seen as and are not competitors to Chrome for WebRTC capabilities. Additional browsers are and will continue to have a positive effect on WebRTC and its awareness within the market. Here at Drum, we feel 2015 will be the year where WebRTC begins to go mainstream and rapidly become the next generation of communication via the Web.

Coupling Chrome, Firefox, IE and Opera over 85 percent of Internet users will have access to WebRTC functionality. Safari would be the remaining major browser to support the functionality. It is only a matter of time until Safari decides to support such functionality. In the meantime, the increased browser support is likely to reassure developers to build applications and API’s utilising the technology bringing the technology to the end user.

Laurence Chandler is the Marketing Manager at Drum Web Meetings who regularly shares his thoughts on the industry and WebRTC developments. He is more than happy to be contacted to discuss the industry in more depth. www.thisisdrum.com Drum Web Meetings is a tool designed using WebRTC to communicate within your browser.




Edited by Maurice Nagle




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