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WebRTC Solutions Week in Review: Google, Microsoft, Voice4Net

April 11, 2015

WebRTC news this week was packed full of Google, some speculation about when Microsoft will get on board the Web-based real-time communication train, the need for screen sharing in contact center environments, and TMC's latest pick for one of its products of the year.

Let's begin with that ever-present search giant. Google has made some advances in communications by taking the Web into its hands with services like Google Hangouts. It has also embraced WebRTC with its Chrome browser. However, it has not exactly expanded its view into the realm of business communications—that is until now. TMC reported this week that Google is developing a new system called GMeet that will utilize audio/video communications through WebRTC and could support access to Google Drive. It is early yet, so details otherwise are sparse. Business officials may want to keep an eye out, though, because they could have something on their hands in the near future.

Why a whole new application? It could mark a focus on business, and more importantly it could also mark a journey into territory such as screen sharing in WebRTC. For the time being, Chrome is the only one of the big three browsers (including Firefox and Opera) that supports screen sharing. A recent post at digit explains how someone can use a third-party app to take advantage of that feature. Rather than rely on third-party apps, however, it could be nice for businesses to grab a home-grown product from Google itself. GMeet could represent that future possibility.

Consumers and businesses are still waiting for Microsoft to show up to the party. Even with the new Spartan browser coming with Windows 10, PC Magazine reported that there is still no support for WebRTC. There are a number of features which early versions of Spartan display as both a step forward in browsing and a step away from its shamed brother, Internet Explorer. TMC notes that “all boats really do rise when the tide comes in,” yet Microsoft seems to be anchored to the sea floor. The Microsoft hopeful are clinging to that chance of native WebRTC support; no one is sure if or when it will arrive.

Getting back to contact centers, it was the Voice4Net WebRTC Contact Center platform which captured one of this year's Product of the Year awards from TMC. Voice4Net says it targets a number of markets, including education, healthcare, and government and that it can support a number of systems by leveraging browsers as its portal for operation. All officials in those fields can instantly get voice, video, and text through the same browsers they use every day. That makes it easy to connect with others, and that simplicity is what helps gain awards.

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