The recent unconfirmed report that Cisco was interested in buying Skype got a lot of attention. Many analysts and pundits pronounced the idea a good one. They pontificated about how Skype service could complement Cisco products and services. Some focused on video communication as well as voice synergies. Few, however, mentioned the fundamental long-term threat Skype poses to Cisco's video conferencing business – and not just Skype, but any Internet-based video communication service. That threat will only grow as time passes. Acquiring Skype could help Cisco cope with the threat.
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It's old news that video conferencing is increasingly replacing business travel, as companies do everything they can to save money during the recession. But it won't help much if the conferencing system costs tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, as some telepresence products do. Hewlett-Packard has just introduced a product that attempts to solve that problem. Its new SkyRoom desktop video conferencing software costs a mere $149 per copy.
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