Interest in video calling continues to grow with announcements, seemingly, coming thick and fast including a couple of interest from Google and Skype, or should that be Microsoft?

At the end of May Google announced that it was "open-sourcing" its Web Real Time Communications (WebRTC) project, designed to allow the development of real time voice and video applications using just HTML and JavaScript rather than proprietary codecs and other browser plug-ins.

WebRTC makes use of technology from Google's May acquisition of Global IP Solutions (GIPS), and hot on the heels of the open source announcement the company has already made much of the necessary WebRTC code available with its Chrome browser.

Clearly designed to encourage third parties to develop video applications rather than use Skype, the company has also pledged WebRTC support for other browsers, by which it means Firefox and Opera. Whether it will ever include IE remains to be seen.

Skype (Microsoft) meanwhile has been busy updating its Android smartphone app - Skype for Android 2.0 - to support video calls both to other Android users and those on iPhone, Mac and Windows devices. The user interface also comes in for a re-vamp, plus it's possible to use the app over both WiFi and 3G connections.

A handset with a front-facing camera is, unsurprisingly, needed to run the new app and, at present, it's Android 2.1 only. More than that the only supported handsets are HTC's Desire S, Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo or Pro and the Google Nexus S, although the company is planning to roll out support for more handsets "very soon".

This article is written by Alan Stevens and sponsored by Avaya. The opinions reflected in this piece are solely those of Alan Stevens and may not reflect those of Avaya management