Microsoft Commits to Real-Time Communications with WebRTC 1.0 API Release

Microsoft recently announced a step forward in its roadmap for real-time communications with preview availability of the WebRTC 1.0 API and RTC video codec support within Microsoft Edge. The support enables video communications across platforms and browsers without the need for a plugin. Of utmost importance to Microsoft, the WebRTC 1.0 API aims to deliver interoperability with legacy implementations on existing websites.

Microsoft joins Google and Mozilla in the WebRTC open-source project development. Pluginless real-time communications via a JavaScript API could transform the requirements needed to support real-time voice, video, chat, and file sharing. With tech giants moving towards WebRTC, expect adoption of protocol to grow.

Microsoft's WebRTC 1.0 API provides peer-to-peer audio and video support. The support is based on a subset of W3C's 2015 WebRTC-PC API (prior to W3C's addition of the WebRTC object model). Due to the legacy interoperability focus, Microsoft has no plans to further update the API beyond the W3C's 2015 version. The newly supported features are available, by default, in Windows Insider Preview Builds beginning with release 15019. The first stable release to enable the features by default will begin in the Windows 10 Creator's Update.

Microsoft laid the groundwork for real-time communication support with ORTC support within EdgeHTML 13. Now, it appears that Microsoft is fully dedicated with its first release of the WebRTC API. To better understand Microsoft's intention for real-time communications, check out its RTC roadmap. As developers dive in, Microsoft encourages feedback regarding bugs via Twitter (@MSEdgeDev), or through the EdgeHTML Issue Tracker

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