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Cisco vs. Microsoft: Now videoconferencing is the battle turf

October 16, 2007 | Chris Payatagool

Cisco_logo.gifMicrosoft.jpgOct. 16 is the date Microsofties are most looking forward to as that is when the Redmond giant officially launches Office Communications Server 2007 at a big bash in San Francisco. If OCS doesn't do enough to spoil Cisco's unified communications party, Microsoft is also touting RoundTable. which according to Microsoft Subnet blogger Chris Dalby, "is an amazing 360 degree panoramic video device, allowing you to see everyone 'around the table' that integrates with Live Meeting 2007 or OCS 2007."

A 360-degree panoramic video device that allows you to see everyone 'around the table' - doesn't that remind you of a little $300,000 system from Cisco?

A story by Computerworld cites Kim Akers, Microsoft general manager of unified communications as saying that while Cisco is going after the top 20% of the market with its 65-inch plasma displays and specialized furniture, Microsoft is targeting the other 80% with a less-expensive system - slated to be priced at "less than $3,000". This is significantly less than the $300,000 asking price for Cisco TelePresence, and HP's "lower priced" Halo, at $249,000.

Things will get interesting when and if Cisco comes out with its planned consumer version, priced at $1,000. But that isn't slated to appear for another three years, giving Microsoft a "first-mover's advantage" in the low-priced telepresence market.

This should be an interesting bun fight.

[via Network World]

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