I would guess this is more likely a response to FaceTime. Apple's core business is around getting people to buy iPhones, and FaceTime is exclusive to the iPhone and other Apple products.
and this is part of Google's involvement with that.
However the original question is still valid, as this release might have been accelerated quite a bit because MS bought Skype.
"The company said it plans to make FaceTime an open industry standard, potentially allowing
communication with other devices."
He lied and I'm quite surprised that virtually no one gave Apple the hard time they deserve for lying during a keynote speech.
To quote http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FaceTime: "Upon the launch of the iPhone 4, Jobs promised that Apple would work in due course with standards bodies to make the FaceTime protocol an "open standard." As of May 2011, it is not yet known to have been ratified by any standards body, and the extent of work by Apple with regards to this promise is unclear as Apple has not released technical specifications for the service. FaceTime is not currently supported on any non-Apple devices."
Now that that is more or less over, Apple is back to not really caring about it because frankly, most people have forgotten already.
Having both an open standard and a full stack implementation (BSD-licensed) is ages ahead of just publishing some details about the protocol.
Everyone else is on the same page in this conversation. Open standards are the focus here, and that's exactly what hasn't shown up wrt FaceTime.
Something like this happened to AMF format and Adobe. They release some specs, and then people started to implement Flash servers, except the specs sucked and a lot of stuff had to be reverse engineered.
[Warning: PDF document]
Which were what?
Seriously. There should be a way to flag down vote abuse.
The website currently says they've been working closely with Mozilla and we expect to see WebRTC support in Firefox and Chrome soon!.
Glancing over the API docs, I'm not clear what will be used for signaling. It appears to be based on XMPP/Jingle, am I right?
What about SIP?
So nobody cares about open-sourcing WebRTC. Something that would be actually noticeable in this field right now would be Microsoft that open-sources Skype and gives everything away under the BSD license.
So nobody cares about open-sourcing WebRTC
Something that would be actually noticeable in this
field right now would be Microsoft that open-sources
What would be useful is for Skype to become a standard that allows interoperability with other services and protocols, such that you could build a client, like a website, that would allow users with a GTalk account to video-call Skype users. Now that would be something.
It looks like a <device> element with streaming but they don't mention it at all.
Embrace and extend.