WebRTC Expo: Microsoft’s Bernard Aboba, Principle Architect Discusses ORTC and WebRTC

imageA surprise keynote from Microsoft here at the WebRTC expo. “WebRTC in a mobile first , cloud first world” was the name of his discussion sticking with the theme of Satya Nadella’s charge for Microsoft.

Bernard touched on the mobile and smart phone growth trends. Smart phones are increasingly become more and more of the internet traffic 25% this year up from14% last year. Will see an enormous growth of smart phone end points.

Need to think differently about your server infrastructure – which is where the cloud comes in allowing scaling.

When you think about mobile first, you have to think also about full ubiquitous access: Desktop, Mobile, Tablet, Gaming. HTML5 is one of the tools that is very helpful to deliver across all these devices.

So what RTC come out of the mobile first, cloud first:
- Error Resilience
- Rate Matching
- Personalized Layout
- Low Delay
- Error Localization
- Low Complexity

If you look at the Opus codec for voice, it meets most of the above. One question if he gets is “Does Cloud Based WebRTC work?”. Yes Bernard says. go try it out at http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/ and http://MeetMe.cloudapp.net, which he says is a WebRTC based application.

Microsoft has a lot of history with RTC in their products: MeetMe, Microsoft Lync, Skype, and most of their products like yammer, office 365. Each of these have their own roadmaps. All of them are paying attention to WebRTC and ORTC but are very independent. He is not speaking for all of them.

He then spoke a bit on Microsoft’s engagement in RTC standardization. IE team has the main responsibility. Skype team is the experts and gives advice and sits on W3C along with Microsft Open team.

IE11 platform supports a “boatload” of internet standards such as WebGL, Canvas2D, etc. Making the case they support standards. You can see what is going into internet explorer at status.modern.ie. A complete dashboard of what is coming next in IE.

Yesterday Microsoft announced that they have developer channel now called due channel.modern.ie where you can install the new version without messing up your old version. Get access to the newest code.

What is coming up in the roadmap: Media capture, web audio API, http transport security. What is under consideration: Object RTC API, Web Speech API, Canvas Composting, SVG2.

What is Object RTC: “Future of WebRTC”. SDP used for negation but objects used for other features.

What else can you do with it in the future. ORTC in ORTC 1.1: No SDP negotiation requirement, support for layering and simulcast, Backward compatibility in the WebRTC 1.0 spec including support for WebRTC RFCs features. Seems to be a place where the two could come together.

Showed a detailed architecture of what WebRTC would look like with ORTC 1.0. Object model gives you per track media manipulation which is difficult in current WebRTC spec (I am not an expert at this, so writing what I heard).

Capabilities and settings available for Sender and Receiver Objects. Data channel hooked to STCP transport (not part of WebRTC 1.0 spec). Ability to now configure advanced video like simulcast, layer encoding, etc. Lots of things that real telepresence apps allow you to do. What community was part of the ORTC group: Founded by Hookflash but includes Google, Microsoft and 50 participants. Http://ORTC.org which is the landing page.