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Polycom teams with IBM in consumer videoconference

January 7, 2010 | Chris Payatagool

polycom_160x87px.jpgNEW YORK (Reuters) - Polycom Inc said it will work with IBM to introduce videoconferencing services aimed at consumers, competing with Skype and a yet-to-be announced product from Cisco Systems Inc.

The two companies plan to unveil a high-definition video conferencing product later this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Polycom said on Monday.

The product will enable video chats with multiple participants over high-speed Internet, Polycom said, although it did not disclose a price or sales date.

IBM said the demonstration at CES was part of its vision of a futuristic home and that it has no plans to sell consumer videoconferencing products under its own brand name. Polycom and IBM are partners in corporate videoconferencing products.

Any new push into consumer services would likely meet stiff competition from Skype, as well as other entrants. Top network equipment maker Cisco also plans to offer a consumer version of its high-end corporate videoconferencing product, TelePresence, sometime soon.

The rivalry in online video communications has intensified, with Cisco buying Norway's Tandberg, the world's leading videoconferencing provider.

Polycom shares rose 2.44 percent to close at $25.58, while IBM shares ended 1.2 percent higher at $132.45. (Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Derek Caney and Matthew Lewis)

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