WebRTC, the new technology that enables plugin-free voice and video chat within the browser, should be available on more than one billion unique endpoints (think: desktop browsers and mobile devices) “within a week,” according to Google’s WebRTC engineering lead Justin Uberti, who gave an update on WebRTC’s progress at Google I/O Friday.
WebRTC is going to reach that milestone thanks in part to Firefox 22, which was just released this week. The new version of Firefox comes with WebRTC enabled in its beta version, which should add a large number of users to the addressable market for WebRTC developers.
Uberti also said that WebRTC is going to come to iOS devices soon: Apple hasn’t joined the efforts to implement and standardize WebRTC yet, but Google wants to nonetheless give developers a way to address users on iPads and iPhones through the release of a native toolkit.
Of course, there is another holdout: Microsoft has been pushing forward with its own version of WebRTC, which some have seen as an effort to torpedo the standard. Uberti had a much more optimistic take on the differences Friday, saying that Microsoft has been “a great participant in the standards.” He added: “I’m very optimistic that we are going to see a version of (Internet Explorer) that supports this technology in the not-too distant future.”