Cisco’s $3bn bid for Tandberg has made everyone sit up and take notice of video conferencing. It is only little over a week since HP launched its new SkyRoom video conferencing product for desktop computers. HP’s Halo already competes with Cisco at the high end of the telepresence market, with elaborate camera and meeting room systems which come close to simulating real-life meetings. Now, with the Tandberg acquisition and SkyRoom, both companies are looking to serve all segments of the market from high end to mass market. Microsoft has also developed teleconferencing services similar to Cisco and HP. Read more
HP today came up with a videoconferencing product that could work out 1,000 times cheaper than the telepresence mega-productions itself and Cisco have been pushing.
Cisco’s TelePresence or HP’s Halo can cost more than $300,000 for a boardroom suite setup, but HP’s SkyRoom could link two boardrooms for less than $300. Read more
It is perhaps with good reason that Larry Ellison does not speak in public that often. Whenever he does, the famously bombastic Oracle chief executive seems certain to trash his rivals, make bold predictions about Oracle’s future, and wander off topic.
Last night at a meeting of the Churchill Club, Mr Ellison said that Sun Microsystems was losing $100m a month as European regulators scrutinise Oracle’s proposed takeover of the struggling hardware maker.
On the economy, Mr Ellison said it would be at least another five years before the US begins to recover. He said it would not be a V shaped recovery with a sharp rebound, or a W shaped recovery with a double dip, or a U shaped recovery with a pause before an uptick, but an L shaped recovery — “down and not coming back up.” Read more
If past experience is anything to go by, it may be time to short Cisco Systems.
Being admitted to the Dow Jones Industrial Average is the ultimate mark of corporate respectability – and it has added 5 per cent to Cisco’s shares today – but the history of techs in the Dow has not been a cheerful one.
For many years the brain trust at the DJIA turned a cold shoulder to tech. Only IBM was admitted to the club – and even Big Blue only made it through the door after it had been around for close to 70 years. Read more
The Flip video camera became a best-seller in the US last Christmas as a cheap, dead simple device for capturing video and uploading it to a computer or the web.
Its maker Pure Digital was also capturing the market for a moment in time and has sold more than 2m units to date.
But Pure Digital’s sale today to Cisco may also be a perfectly timed exit for its VC backers – much bigger competitors are bearing down on the startup, looking to copy its success. Read more
The tech headlines this week have certainly been eye-catching.
Cisco, which in this downturn is still making a 60 per cent gross profit margin and operating profits of more than 20 per cent of revenues, is risking upsetting long-time allies like HP to get into servers – a business in rapid retreat where profits have collapsed.
Now comes news that IBM is in advanced talks to buy Sun, reversing its steady march away from the hardware business into more consistent and profitable software and services. This amounts to a big change in course: after focussing on small software acquisitions, Big Blue looks like it’s about to become a consolidator in Unix servers.
What is going on here? Read more
Google has been speaking in different tongues with its voice strategy, but there are signs that its ambitions in telephony are coming into focus.
Last night, it unveiled Google Voice - a rebranding of GrandCentral, bought in July 2007. The company usually takes a long time reworking its acquisitions, some of them never reappearing at all, so the nearly two years it has spent on GrandCentral seems par for the course. Read more