There has been much talked about Skype recently, especially the fact that Microsoft bought the Skype client and are currently working on even better integration with Facebook.

Google is determined to not fall behind, so last year Google bought the company Global IP Solutions with its real time audio and video products and technology. From this purchase, Google has created WebRTC, which was recently made open source. Google wants to make audio and video chat an integral part of the web, making it available directly from the browser.

One of the places where WebRTC is expected to be added is in Gmail, which currently requires a commercial plugin for audio and video chat. But it’s not just there WebRTC will be integrated, Google will also embed the software in their browser, Google Chrome. The company has also said that they would like to help Mozilla Corporation and Opera Software to do the same in their browsers.

We are working hard to complete the remaining steps for a full integration in Chromium and Chrome including JavaScript APIs in WebKit and handling of the native audio and video capture and rendering. When we are done, any web developer shall be able to create RTC applications, like the Google Talk client in Gmail, without using any plugins but only WebRTC components that runs in the sandbox.

If Google and their allies succeed in establishing this technology as a kind of default, it will open the door to new types of web services and web applications to take advantage of new communication capabilities in browsers. It could mean that any web service at any time can challenge Skype.

(via IDG News)