At first glance, we look at the WebRTC landscape from Tsahi and notice it was a pretty big year for the open source technology. Some could easily be fooled into thinking WebRTC as a technology has peaked. However, We need to look at the market in greater detail. Firstly, not all major browsers are supporting browser-based functionality (Microsoft’s EDGE is expected to support ORTC, their version of browser-based communication as reported with webrtcH4cKS), pointing at the conclusion browser-based communication may not have peaked just yet. Here are our thoughts on why acquisitions are all well and good but accessibility to every user is far more important.
Market-share only tells us who has access to a service. But I know plenty of people who are not overly fussed about the browser they use. They simply want to use a browser which is set to default. When they come across a website or web app which doesn’t work on their browser, it is not the browser’s fault but the web app/websites fault. Whether this is technically true or not is irrelevant.
Browser-based communication needs to work in a browser the end user chooses to use. This had been and continues to be largely out of our control. Sure, there are organisations offering plug-ins, but without the understanding of how to monetise WebRTC, organisations can not afford to set aside funding for plug-ins (whether it be tinkering with existing solutions or paying to have access to a plug-in).
However, browser-based communication is no longer a revolutionary technology for the end user. Surely it will only be detrimental to the business operations to NOT implement a browser-based route to customer? But how can organisations implement browser-based communication without the standardisation of the open source software and the global adoption across all major browsers?
This is why WebRTC and browser-based communication did not peak in 2015 and will not peak until at least 2017. Without the global adoption of browser-based communication the technology does not have the potential to peak… But the technology can still peak without the wider adoption I hear you cry! And yes, of course the technology can you are perfectly right. This would be true if there were not early signs of the technology being adopted by the remaining browsers.
Edge will be supporting ORTC. Whilst Apple are notorious for watching what other organisations do. Analysing the performance on what went well and what didn’t go so well, then what follows is usually pure excellence and has us all vying to use the product. The sign of these two browsers joining the WebRTC would be followed by the instant spike in uptake for services and solutions utilising browser-based communication. Until that stage, we will not see the peak in the open source technology. And nor will the user use the technology like second nature, similar to how we use email.