WebRTC Frees OTTs From Version Upgrades
The web browser model frees the users from taking care of the maintenance of their installed applications.
Skype has a problem: people aren't upgrading their clients.
It isn't only a Skype problem--it is a global problem of every application. My wife has an iPhone. I make a point of "visiting" her phone once every few weeks to update all of the apps she has running--usually there's a double digit number of those to update each time.
For Skype, or any other VoIP vendor, this is a real issue. As an OTT provider, they are supposed to be nimble and fast, which calls for more updates to their software. While native web OTT services are capable of doing that simply due to their SaaS model, VoIP vendors must run on applications that need to be downloaded--you just can't run them on the web itself.
And this large number of users that don't upgrade becomes a problem--you need to maintain interoperability between versions of the same application--making sure nothing breaks when older versions of the application are communicating with newer ones. This complicates things like testing but also the migration towards new technologies: switching between voice and video codecs, adding new features to all users across the board, etc.
And then there's WebRTC...which is a real threat to OTT VoIP players. There are some good aspects of it for OTTs though: WebRTC brings with it a huge advantage to VoIP--OTT or otherwise: There's no updates and upgrades necessary for the applications. Since it lives inside the web browser, each time a user browses to the site, he will effectively get the latest version.
The web browser model frees the users from taking care of the maintenance of their installed applications and shifts them towards happy users of services instead. It is about time VoIP joins this brave new world.