Google has built the WebRTC technology into a test version of Chrome to let the browser run voice and video chat applications within the browser interface.
WebRTC, which is also being supported by browser makers Mozilla and Opera, is being considered for standard status at the W3C and the IETF. Companies like Polycom, Vonage, Vehix.com, Semens and PCCW are developing browser-based applications using the technology, according to Enbom.
Google acquired WebRTC when it bought Global IP Solutions in 2010 and released it as open-source code in mid-2011. With WebRTC, developers will be able to create voice and video chat applications that execute inside the browser, without users needing to install plug-ins, according to the technology's website.
Google wants Web browsers to be as fast and as capable of running applications as possible, which is why it came out with its own browser, Chrome, and made its development project, Chromium, open source.
There are four tiers of Chrome browser releases: the Canary Build, non-tested and not guaranteed to run; the Dev Channel, tested but likely to contain bugs; the Beta Channel, more tested and polished; and the Stable Channel, which is fully tested.