Google challenges Skype with new Chrome video tool

Posted by Lydia Leavitt

Google is giving Skype a run for its money with plans to integrate audio and video chat software directly into its flagship Chrome browser.

After acquiring a real-time chat software company called Global IP Solutions in 2010, Google is moving forward with a project called WebRTC to create its own Internet phone and videoconferencing tool.

Announced this week, the tool will be integrated directly into the Chrome browser. 

Currently, Google’s voice and video conference platform is available via Gmail and requires an additional plug-in for use.

Interestingly enough, Google hopes to extend the new offering beyond Gmail by releasing it as an open-source, royalty-free software so other companies like Mozilla and Opera can build versions of audio and video chat for their perspective browsers.

According to Henrick Andreasson, a Google programmer from GPIS, "Our goal is to enable Chrome with Real-Time Communications (RTC) capabilities via simple Javascript APIs [application programming interfaces]. We are working hard to provide full RTC support in Chrome all the way from WebKit [the open-source browser engine on which Chrome is based] down to the native audio and video parts."

Using the open source software,  pretty much anyone could build a video conferencing tool to rival Skype, at least, in theory.

Unsurprisingly, Google seems dedicated to creating web-based apps which work across multiple browsers and smartphones in the cloud, which fits in well with Mountain View's browser-centric approach to computing.

(Via CNET)