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Is a WebRTC Lync Client in your Future?

Don’t put a WebRTC client for Lync on your Christmas List for 2013

By Alan Percy, Senior Director of Marketing, AudioCodes

I just wrapped up a three-day visit to WebRTC Conference and Expo held at Atlanta’s Cobb Galleria and organized by the effervescent  WebRTC promoter, Phil Edholm and his partner Chris Vitek with the TMC team providing event operations and logistics support.  A great technology WebRTC Logoevent of learning and sharing by some of the early technology experts, adopters and vendors – The event included almost eight hours of demonstrations over two days – some were outstanding peeks at what is possible, while others were painful to watch as Murphy’s first law of demos invaded the stage and squirming presenters talked around technical SNAFUs.

The simplest way to explain WebRTC is that it’s a web technology that would extend the native capabilities of web-browsers to allow them to offer voice, video and data sharing without separate client or plug-in software.  Example applications include collaboration systems (like Google Hangouts), distance learning, video contacts centers and more. Evolving under the IETF and W3C standards process, much of the technology leadership came from a team of developers at Google who have widely supported implementations in other browsers too.

WebRTC and Lync have the potential to offer a greatly-enhanced Lync user experience, initially making the web-based guest/visitor to Lync conference calls a seamless experience with full voice and video.  Like Outlook, Lync offers a web-based access, but with limited functionality that sufficient for the occasional user, quickly reminding you why the native client and mobile client software exists.  It would be easy to envision the Lync experience available to a wider range of users, browsers, tablets and room systems with WebRTC.

However, here’s the rub…Microsoft has all but given the WebRTC effort “the technical cold shoulder” -  with no visible participation in this week’s event and going on-record with significant disagreements of a range of technical issues from voice  and video codecs to call control, Microsoft is definitely not in alignment with Google (big surprise).  Here’s a good summary of where Google and Microsoft differ.

So, I would not put a WebRTC client for Lync on your Christmas list for 2013 – let’s hope that over this next six months the technical teams from Google and Microsoft can “meet in the middle” before the gap between Chrome and Internet Explorer becomes too great.

You can learn more on the web at:

Continue the conversation with your comments or suggestions - Alan can be reached at alan.percy@audiocodes.com


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AudioCodes, a Microsoft Communications Gold Competency partner, designs, develops and sells AudioCodes One Voice for Lync, a comprehensive portfolio of voice networking technology, professional services and global support, optimized for Microsoft Lync and Exchange Unified Communications solutions. Sold through a global network of highly-trained reseller partner community, AudioCodes One Voice for Lync simplifies the selection, implementation and support of Unified Communications. Whether deployed on-premise or in the cloud, AudioCodes is the One Source for Microsoft-certified products and services.  To learn more, visit: http://www.audiocodes.com/Microsoft

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