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June 03, 2014

Mozilla Firefox Introducing In-Browser VoIP and WebRTC Calling

A partnership between WebRTC innovator TokBox and Mozilla is already bearing the fruits of their labor, as Mozilla has made a big announcement concerning how its browser will take advantage of WebRTC protocols. The Firefox Web browser is being revamped to include an experimental in-browser WebRTC communications client, and Mozilla thinks that this change could set a standard for Voice over IP (VoIP) and Video VoIP communications.

WebRTC is already hailed as an easily accessible video client thanks to the fact that it works independently of any third-party software, but having an easily accessible WebRTC client pre-installed into one of the most popular browsers on the Web could be the shot in the arm that both VoIP and WebRTC needed to be catapulted into the mainstream.

The project is still very much in its early stages, and is currently only being tested through Firefox's nightly build feature, which allows users to download unstable and experimental versions of the browser to sample and provide feedback on. Regardless, the ultimate aim of the project is to create a simple and unified service for Internet users to make easy video VoIP calls with. Currently, video VoIP services like Skype and Viber are all using different video formats, requiring users to make sure they've got the same software before they start trading account information. Mozilla aims to make this process easier by integrating a WebRTC feature into the Firefox browser, which would eliminate the need for third-party programs whatsoever.

Mozilla's Director of Product Management for Firefox, Chad Weiner, posed the simple question: “What if the browser, with near-universal adoption, could become the keystone of an open, interoperable communications system?”

This dream could very well become a reality if the WebRTC integration into Mozilla Firefox proves successful. Of course, it will be some time before such a feature is polished and ready for release. After all, the importance of releasing a working product takes precedence over releasing it early, and a poor quality WebRTC service could actually hurt the industry rather than make it better.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson
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