MOZILLA HAS INKED a deal with Telefonica to bring in-browser calling to the Firefox browser, and beyond.
As we reported back in May, Mozilla has been eyeing up the idea of simplified in-browser VoIP for some time and has today confirmed that its new partnership will be rolled out imminently, with beta users seeing it in the next few weeks.
The Firefox Hello system is powered by Telefonica subsidiary Tokbox and based on the Web Realtime Communication (WebRTC) standard, an open source VoIP client which is already compatible with a number of leading browsers. The service is currently in use for remote desktop connection and screen sharing.
What this means in real terms is that you will be able to make free VoIP calls beyond the baked-in Firefox ecosystem to anyone with a browser running a WebRTC client. This includes a number of SIP clients that may already be installed on your machine.
Mozilla claims there will be no need for additional extensions or plugins, accounts or IDs.
The mass adoption of an open source system like this could see Microsoft's Skype service take a hit as there is nothing stopping WebRTC becoming a universal open standard very quickly.
Although Mozilla has taken the first steps to baked-in WebRTC, the project has its origins with a release by Google in 2011 which has since been adapted and adopted.
The protocol is currently supported in Chrome and Opera as well as Firefox, all with interoperability. Internet Explorer and Safari, being tied to the two big proprietary operating systems, have yet to join the party.
In August this year, Microsoft, Google and Hookflash joined with W3C to establish a specification for real-time communication, known as Object Real Time Communication. µ
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