We all know it is possible to make Skype calls within Outlook via Microsoft Edge. While it works well enough, it was necessary for users to install a plugin to make it work. As it stands right now, this is no longer the case, something that bodes well for Edge.
How did Microsoft pull this off with Skype? Well, we understand that this new version of Microsoft Edge uses the Object-Real Time Communication API. This was drafted up by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to enable voice calling. Not only that, it is possible to share files and make video calls with this API. All major web browser supports this API outside of Apple’s Safari.
“Today, we’re excited to announce that Skype for Web, Outlook.com, Office Online and OneDrive now support real-time, plugin free voice, video and group video calling on Microsoft’s Edge browser, using the ORTC media engine that was recently embedded in Microsoft Edge,” according to Skype.
What about Skype audio and video calls within other web browsers without a plugin? This isn’t so easy because browsers like Chrome and Firefox do not support the H.264 video codec, mainly because it is not open-source. Microsoft says it will happen once Google and Mozilla change their tune but we’re not sure when this will be, if ever.
Actually making Skype calls in Outlook.com will have to wait until the service has been rollout: we tried making a few calls but it didn’t work. We’ll keep trying until it works, or just wait around until Microsoft makes another announcement.
Keep in mind that screen sharing and calling mobile or landlines will require users to have a plug-in installed. We’re certain this will be rectified with future updates but for now, it will be a pain.