When Cisco announced that it was going to stop selling its ūmi "home telepresence" product to consumers, the reason seemed clear. Although ūmi offered a superb video conferencing experience, it was obviously too expensive for even the affluent households the networking vendor was targeting. But Cisco's real mistake wasn't wanting too much money for its product, it was wanting any money at all for it. In a market where competitors were giving away video communication applications as part of other consumer products, wanting to earn revenue selling a dedicated home video conferencing product was a recipe for frustration.
Continue reading "Will Consumers Ever Pay for Home Video Conferencing Products? " »
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.
Continue reading "Skype, Cisco and the Race to the Video Conferencing Middle" »