Do you remember when I set out the evidence that we are winning the battle for Free, Libre, Open-Source Software (FLOSS) but it’s a hollow victory because monopolists have moved the war to a different front?
I said that we were a bit short on FLOSS web-services to compete with Google. We have Diaspora* as an alternative to Google+ but then I started to struggle.
If, like me, the only thing on Google Drive you really care about is text documents, then you’ve probably been keeping an eye on progress of the real-time collaborative text editor Etherpad at http://etherpad.org/ or @EtherpadOrg but today I’ve realised it has a ‘feature’ that I’d missed: WebRTC allows person-to-person video-conferencing in the browser, using an open standard http://www.webrtc.org/. There is a demo between Chrome and Firefox here http://www.webrtc.org/demo.
This appears to offer the possibility of other service providers running an alternative to Google Hangouts. Let’s hope Google is planning to open up Hangouts. No, nor me.
I also note that Google bought the original Etherpad in 2009 http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-10409676-264.html