Cisco, a leading networking gear conglomerate has appealed before the European Union concerning the fact that the merger of Microsoft and Skype would create a monopoly in the Video communication space. With the 8.5 billion dollar buy-out of Skype by Microsoft, Cisco feels that Microsoft would be able to leverage on the 700 Million + user base of Skype in its Lync platform and would be attempting to create a monopoly where its service would not be compatible with the services from other vendors. MessageNet, an European VOIP provider have also joined the race.
Cisco believes in the future of the Video communication and prepares itself as a networking vendor as well as a provider of its service platform “Telepresence“. In the recent years Cisco has introduced high powered routers for handling terabytes of video traffic.
Although Cisco does not really oppose the acquisition of Skype by Microsoft, all it wants is to create a Open standards based Video Communication ecosystem where users in multiple platform can inter operate. Cisco’s concern is pretty fair. The next question which needs answer is what Cisco going to gain from this battle? I do not agree to the fact that Cisco is fighting for this, without a clear strategy for a “win” situation. Would the empowerment of user in adapting the open standards based architecture increase the network traffic and with this Cisco expects more sales in its high-powered routers? Could be.
In my opinion,
– Video communication should use open standard based architecture which would enhance innovation in the network and branch out services / applications based out of Video.
– Users of the video service would be greatly empowered with an inter-operable platform.
Hopefully European Union Commission would revisit the deal approval and request Microsoft to adhere to Open inter-operable based standards.
Here is a blog release from Marthin De Beer, SVP, Emerging Business Group from Cisco