Microsoft Edge (IE Replacement) Drops Plugins = Time to Move to WebRTC

May 19, 2015

For Voice and Video inside a browser, plugins are not the answer.

Microsoft Edge Plugins

I wrote a few weeks ago about Google dropping NPAPI plugins. It seems like Microsoft decided not to support plugins either – their brand new Microsoft Edge browser won’t support plugins:

The biggest change for developers coming with Microsoft Edge is that it will get rid of legacy browser technologies including ActiveX and Browser Helper Objects (BHO).

The end result? GoToMeeting, WebEx, AT&T Connect and others won’t be able to install a browser plugin to work. They will either need to download and install a full fledged app on the desktop – a big no no for friction haters and in the corporate world. Or they will need to go with native browser technology. Which means WebRTC.

If what you are doing deals with real time communications and you’re thinking of using a plugin technology to get it to browsers – forget it.

Start thinking on how you are going to utilize WebRTC in the browser instead. The future won’t allow for any other option anyway.

Need to know where WebRTC is available? Download this free WebRTC Device Cheat Sheet.

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    1. Fabian, to some extent – yes.

      As far as I know, the latest Edge preview supports getUserMedia() already, and Microsoft have announced plans to support WebRTC/ORTC. My guess is by year end it will be available in one form or another, though limited by OS, browser version and interoperability.

  1. Any idea how they are going to support screen sharing? Chrome and Firefox already have two different methods. Will they choose any one of them or introduce a third method?

  2. “[T]heir brand new Microsoft Edge browser wonโ€™t support plugins…”

    That isn’t technically accurate to my knowledge. They are removing the legacy plugin methods (that can possibly lead to security issues) and plan to add support for plugins in the future. When? I’m not quite sure, but it appears that it will happen after the public release in a few days.

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