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Heads up, Skype.
Shortly after releasing software for audio and video chat as an open-source project called WebRTC as open-source software, Google is beginning to build it into its Chrome browser.
The real-time chat software originated from Google's 2010 acquisition of Global IP Solutions (GIPS), a company specializing in Internet telephony and videoconferencing.
The obvious beneficiary for the project is Gmail, whose audio and video communications ability today requires use of a proprietary plug-in. Gmail chat is getting more important as Google's VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) efforts mature and integrate with the Google Voice service.