WebRTC, the plugin-free real-time video, audio and text chat protocol most browser vendors now support, is now activated by default in the latest bleeding edge Firefox Nightly release. While Mozilla has long backed WebRTC, it was only available as an option in the Nightly releases so far. Now that it is enabled by default, chances are that it will slowly make its way into the stable release channel over the next few months.
As Mozilla’s Paul Rouget and Rober Nyman wrote in today’s announcement, “this is a huge step forward, to be able to run WebRTC directly in a web browser without it needing any special settings or configuration.”
Chances are we will hear quite a bit about WebRTC throughout the year, especially now that the browser implementations are starting to roll out. Chrome already supported WebRTC in its stable releases since version 23, for example, and Mozilla and Google recently demonstrated how their browsers’ users will be able to use WebRTC to talk to each other.
Also newly enabled by default in the Firefox Nightly channel is support for the H.264 and MP3 formats. The decoding for these formats is done by the operating system and for now, these features are only available on Windows 7 and above. Support for Mac and Linux is in the works.
As Mozilla announced earlier this week, the Nightly releases now also feature Mozilla’s new Metro interface for Windows 8.
And Now For Something (Almost) Completely Different…
On a somewhat unrelated note, it’s also worth pointing out this awesome new WebGL demo Mozilla announced today. Written by ACTISKU‘s Anthony Liot, this demo is a great example for how far browsers have come and for the cross-platform experiences developers can now create without having to rely on plugins (the demo should run in most modern browsers, with the exception of Internet Explorer, which doesn’t currently support WebGL).