Microsoft is going to try to bake Skype into Internet Explorer.
In a post issued yesterday, Redmond indicates it's going to use the Object Real-Time Communications API for WebRTC (ORTC API for WebRTC) to ensure it becomes possible to “... simply open IE and make a Skype call”.
The ORTC API is a W3C effort, as is WebRTC, so Microsoft is playing nice with others here. Just how it'll use the emerging standard to hook into Skype isn't explained, but the post does say Redmond is keen to “ensure easier interoperability between web browsers and billions of existing communications endpoints, including SIP-based VoIP endpoints, 'Public Switched Telephone Networks' and 'Video Teleconferencing' systems.”
And Redmond's giving as well as building: Microsoft's a player in the standards groups working on ORTC.
One small wrinkle: the ORTC folks say their emphasis is on mobile devices, not desktop browsers.
Once Skype is baked into IE – on mobile or desktop devices - it will mean Windows users will have Microsoft's messaging services in their faces almost as soon as they start using a device. That's a big leg-up for Skype, a sometimes-maligned purchase that thanks to ORTC looks more clever with each passing day. ®