Microsoft has been steadily marching towards the goal of bringing Voice/Video media into the browser without a plugin. In Feb 2013 they noted a roadmap of bringing voice/video/app sharing media to the Microsoft Lync UCWA API. The first part of UCWA arrived in March 2013 and focused on presence and IM. At Enterprise Connect 2013 Derek Burney, Corporate VP Microsoft Lync, noted that “…the Microsoft Lync Web App uses a plugin today. Microsoft will support webRTC as soon as the standard is ratified. This is a super exciting initiative.”
And now it appears that the code is done (but not yet released) for a Lync API that will bring plugin-less Voice/Video into the browser via HTML5. Tom Kisner, a UC Architect attending Microsoft TechEd 2013, noted the UCWA Overview presentation (June 4) demonstrated voice & video in the browser. The presenter noted “we are done [with API code] and currently scrubbing”. Kisner noted further that the API is using only HTML5 no plugin to bring voice/video into the browser.
The TechEd UCWA Deep Dive session (June 5, in progress as of this writing) is revealing more about the real time component of UCWA. Below is a diagram of media flows (submitted by Mattias Kressmark) and we will post more as information becomes available as this session (OUC-B405) is in progress as of this writing.
It should be noted that UCWA with real time media already is what powers the VOIP/video capabilities in the new Lync Mobile 2013 client. (According to Girija Bhagavatula during OUC-B405 TechEd2013 session, 3 out of the 5 Lync clients are already powered with UCWA)
One could presume that UCWA could be used to remove the need for a plugin for LWA (Lync Web App/ web-based meeting join experience). Lync currently does not have a stand-alone end user web client, but with this API developers or Microsoft could certainly create such a client.
Microsoft has not noted when the voice/video portion of the UCWA API will be released.
If you would like to learn more about Lync UCWA please take a look at the official
Derek Burney announcement: http://windowspbx.blogspot.com/2013/03/corporate-vp-microsoft-lync-derek.html