With the Windows 10 Creators Update, Microsoft Edge will receive a huge attention, features like plugin-free, interoperable video communication solutions across browsers and platforms. This has been possible since Microsoft Edge will enable the next generation of real time communications (RTC) with WebRTC 1.0 and support for the H.264/AVC and VP8 video codecs.
Microsoft is already shipping a preview of these features and are enabled by default in most recent Windows Insider Preview builds starting with build 15019, and will head to stable releases when the Windows 10 Creator’s Update becomes available, which is expected sometime in March, most probably.
Background and Object RTC
Microsoft Edge introduced support for ORTC beginning in EdgeHTML 13 (Windows 10 version 1511), providing the initial foundation for real-time communications in Edge. Our priority with the WebRTC 1.0 API support is to provide interoperability with legacy implementations on existing websites, which leverage the WebRTC API as previously deployed in other browsers.
Our WebRTC 1.0 API implementation provides support for peer-to-peer audio and video based on a subset of the W3C WebRTC-PC API circa 2015, prior to the addition of the WebRTC object model. Because this implementation is focused on legacy interoperability (including mobile applications built from early versions of the WebRTC.org source code), we don’t plan to further update the native WebRTC 1.0 API beyond this release.
To utilize the most advanced features in the Microsoft Edge RTC stack, we recommend that considering the ORTC API, especially in situations where it is desirable to control individual transport, sender, and receiver objects directly, or to set up group audio and video calls. If you need support for objects or advanced features such as multi-stream and simulcast with the current WebRTC 1.0 API, we recommend the adapter.js library, which now supports Microsoft Edge.
The H.264/AVC and VP8 video codecs are supported in the Microsoft Edge RTC stack, which means video communications are now interoperable between Microsoft Edge and other major WebRTC browsers and RTC services. We have implemented the following congestion control and robustness mechanisms for both H.264/AVC and VP8 video codecs:
- Support for the absolute send time header extension (abs-send-time)
- Support for Google Receiver Estimated Maximum Bitrate, “goog-remb”
- Support for Picture Loss Indication (PLI) and Generic NACK feedback messages, per RFC 4585
- Support for RTP Retransmission, per RFC 4588
These features are available within both the ORTC API and native WebRTC 1.0 API, so you can make API and video codec decisions independently.
You can try out WebRTC 1.0 today, by signing up for Windows Insider Program.