Microsoft's Edge browser will soon support Skype calls without a plugin

Windows 10 users can expect a plugin-free Skype Web app sometime later this year.

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Windows 10 preview build 10547 features plenty of new tweaks and improvements, and among them is a preview of the Object RTC (ORTC) APIs for Microsoft Edge, a collection of tools that will make it easier for developers to build audio and video calling into Web apps without requiring any browser plugins.

Skype is a natural fit for ORTC, and sure enough, the Skype team announced Friday that it is working on new versions of Skype for Web and Skype for that take advantage of this new technology.

According to the Skype blog, “Skype users will be able to make voice and video calls without needing to install a plug-in on Microsoft Edge” starting sometime later this year. The Skype team says it’s also working on a plugin-free version of Skype for Business for Edge users, though it didn’t say when it expects to have that ready to rock. 

The impact on you: Object RTC isn’t just a Microsoft technology. Instead, it’s a broader effort—of which Microsoft is part—to make it easier to develop Web apps for real-time communications such as videoconferencing and voice calls. Web apps that employ it won’t require you to install a plugin or muck around with a Java applet (as is the case now), but you’ll still need a browser that supports Object RTC for those Web apps to work. We’re still in Object RTC’s early days, but if it catches on, it could make life a little easier for businesses and consumers alike.

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