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Latest Firefox tries to one-up Skype with WebRTC calling features

January 16, 2015 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Scott M. Fulton, III / PCWorld

With this week's rollout of Firefox 35, Mozilla is taking a bold step toward reclaiming the relevance that Firefox once commanded. Key to that effort is the organization's move to take a standard technology called WebRTC and add it to Firefox to let users make voice and video calls from their browser.

The new feature, announced Tuesday, is called Hello, and it's not just Mozilla's desire to sound friendlier. It's the organization's latest salvo in a war against browser obscurity.

Hello, Hello

Firefox Hello lets the user initiate person-to-person conference calls directly from the browser. Although the user initiates the call on Firefox, the recipient can use any modern browser that supports WebRTC (Real-Time Communication). WebRTC is an open standard adopted by the W3C community for use in HTML5 that allows Web sites to incorporate video and audio conferencing tools into their pages.

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