Microsoft may not be out to take down Google, but it definitely aims to make it less of a competitor. The industry giant recently recommended its own CU-RTC Web specification to the W3C (News - Alert) WebRTC working group, which just so happens to use Voice and Video over IP (VVoIP).
How is this a shot at Google? Well, Google’s products for browsers are incompatible with Microsoft’s recommendation for VVoIP, as is the WebRTC specification that Google offers.
It was SPIRIT DSP (News - Alert) that noticed this, and noted the clash in its comments. Both Microsoft and Google offer their own VVoIP protocol stack software, but their own communications products and services cannot interoperate, and only work between the other products from their respective companies.
As such, both are working hard to make sure theirs becomes the standard, thus forcing the other out; it’s a struggle we’ve seen before, like VHS versus Betamax, but there’s no clear winner yet.
According to Andrew Sviridenko, chairman of SPIRIT: "The fundamental conflict between Microsoft and Google strengthens Apple's (News - Alert) proprietary and incompatible FaceTime VVoIP platform, as well as SPIRIT DSP's standards-based HD-voice and video software engines that are being licensed to telcos, video-soft-phone application developers and mobile OEMs.
Telcos now strive to develop their own VVoIP services and are not interested in domination of Microsoft or Google VVoIP technologies on their native grounds.
As there are no unified standards for high-definition VVoIP, many developers have released software limited to certain browsers or operating systems. While it may be a good business strategy, it can prove difficult for workers and companies trying to use their own devices for work.
If I want to use an iPhone to contact someone on a Macintosh computer, that wouldn’t be a problem, but if I needed to reach someone with an Android device, it suddenly becomes a more difficult task to find software that works equally well on both our devices, lest our video be riddled with bugs.
Microsoft recently had some issues of its own, such as incompatibility between its own Lync engine and Skype (News - Alert), which it recently acquired.
But the CU-RTC Web specification may very well help with that, working with personal computers and smartphones to make Skype the standard for communications.
This isn’t a dirty move from either company, simply Microsoft trying to push its own products. Sure, it would be nice if the various companies would decide on standards for VVoIP communications, allowing users to communicate over different devices, but until then we’ll have to pick our favorites and hope for the best.
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Edited by Braden Becker