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January 21, 2013

Microsoft Shows Off Its WebRTC Standard

WebRTC is being boasted as the unified standard that will connect real-time communications across browsers, computers and networks, but the exact standard for that has yet to be agreed upon. Microsoft is hoping its CU-RTC-Web standard will be the one to take the crown, and is trying to prove that with a software demonstration.

Microsoft’s CU-RTC-Web (short for “Customizable, Ubiquitous Real-Time Communication) was a latecomer, showing up some time after W3C and IETF began working on their standardized WebRTC approaches. Still, Microsoft is confident that its proposal will be the one that becomes the standard, as WebRTC’s SDP technology must be updated for browser-based use, and is difficult for Web programmers to handle, whereas the approach Microsoft uses is supposedly more easily adapted to more uses and easier for programmers.

However, Mozilla doesn’t agree with Microsoft’s claims. It feels that the supposed drawbacks are being exaggerated, and that programming with WebRTC is easier than Microsoft is making it out to be.

Regardless of those differences in opinions, Microsoft’s demonstration is intended to bring Web-based chat allies to its side by demonstrating how well its technology works across browsers. WebRTC is not quite at the point where it works the same across browsers outside of Chrome and Firefox (to the dismay of Microsoft’s own Internet Explorer), so if it can truly work across any browser, this will be a nice feat.

It will be difficult for Microsoft to catch up to the other WebRTC standards, but it has a nice track record and stands a good chance. There is concern that we will once again see a never-ending clash of non-interoperable protocols splitting the web and users, but if WebRTC works out as we’re all hoping, then that shouldn’t be a problem.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey
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