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Priologic Releases WebRTC Open Source Plugin for Microsoft Internet Explorer

Much has been written about the lack of Microsoft and Apple for the emerging WebRTC standards in their OS-based proprietary browsers. Popular open platform browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, and Opera have all committed and released WebRTC support; however, Internet Explorer and Safari have not.

For many users this has not been a real issue, as they have just downloaded one of the WebRTC-compliant browsers, often finding that the overall browsing experience is better anyway. There remain some users that are only comfortable with their native OS-based browser, and some organizations that do not allow their employees to use an alternate, for security or control reasons. Until now, deploying WebRTC has been difficult, especially in the Internet Explorer world.

Yesterday, Priologic released a new WebRTC alternative for Internet Explorer (IE). This alternative, an Open Source plugin, enables IE users to have WebRTC functionality. The new IE plugin will be released under a BSD2 license that enables any WebRTC team to use it and enhance it either within their commercial products or as open source. Hopefully this is a stop-gap until the committed Microsoft support of the WebRTC standards is finally delivered.

Priologic's CEO, Doug Pelton, says that other teams have done great work enabling WebRTC in the IE browser and have done it for free, but to date none have been open sourced. "EasyRTC [toolkit] is open source, so it makes sense that we have an open source WebRTC plugin for IE," says Pelton. "Of course, the best-case scenario would be if Microsoft put full WebRTC support into Internet Explorer."

A key advantage of the Priologic approach of open sourcing the plugin (versus just making it a download from their site) is that it can be downloaded to IE browsers from servers located behind a firewall and can be certified as reliable by security organizations. It is relatively easy to load the code onto a server as a download for users in an organization. This enables companies or groups using IE for security reasons and banning downloads from the Internet to now deploy full WebRTC capability to their IE users. As it is open source, it can be audited for security compliance as well. In addition, the wide range of new applications and services that are emerging with WebRTC can offer the plugin on their sites or even load it automatically to their WebRTC deployments.