Microsoft brings plug-in-free Skype calling to its Edge browser


Video-calling your friends, relatives, (and - admit it - pets) is about to get easier following Microsoft's implementation of Object Real-Time Communications (ORTC) into Windows 10.

The move will allow anyone using Microsoft's Edge browser on Windows 10 to make voice and video calls using Skype for Web without having to mess around installing plug-ins or waiting for Java applets (ed: sigh) to load.

It's possible through the Object RTC API preview for Microsoft Edge, which has been rolled out to Windows 10 preview build 10547 and will appear in a final build later this year, according to a post on Microsoft's Skype blog.

ORTC is an open project between Microsoft, Google and others, so the door is open for rival browsers to introduce plugin-less Skype compatibility, though none have confirmed that such a plan is in the works.

Maybe. Probably.

However, Chrome, Safari and Firefox support WebRTC standards, which Microsoft said will allow it to offer "similar plug-in-less experiences where possible in most scenarios".

Microsoft added: "Our goal is to build an implementation that is interoperable across the web today as well as with the real-time communications industry in the long term."

The company said it's also working on a plug-in-less version of Skype for Business for Edge users, though a release date is yet to be confirmed.

Kane Fulton
Kane has been fascinated by the endless possibilities of computers since first getting his hands on an Amiga 500+ back in 1991. These days he mostly lives in realm of VR, where he's working his way into the world Paddleball rankings in Rec Room.