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Summary:

Cisco Systems (CSCO) and Microsoft (MSFT) had been increasingly butting heads lately over “enterprise communication” infrastructure, with each company hawking their own version of VoIP products, from directory servers to clients to handsets. This was making the folks who actually spend money — large corporations — […]

Cisco Systems (CSCO) and Microsoft (MSFT) had been increasingly butting heads lately over “enterprise communication” infrastructure, with each company hawking their own version of VoIP products, from directory servers to clients to handsets. This was making the folks who actually spend money — large corporations — mad.

Their bickering, which even managed to rope in the likes of Nortel (NT) and Avaya, was getting out of hand. We had predicted a no-holds barred battle, but instead it turned out to be little more than a small skirmish that’s ending with a whimper. Today John Chambers and Steve Ballmer, chief executives of Cisco Systems and Microsoft respectively, got on stage and declared a truce. (Watch webcast at Microsoft’s site and Cisco‘s Web site.)

“But to use the red team-blue team political analogy, most companies want moderates these days,” Mr. Chambers said. “And I say that as a Republican.” (via NYTimes’ Bits.)

The two companies are going to make their products interoperate, in turn giving large corporations the chance to pick and choose what they want to buy.

“They’re saying, ‘Give me the choice. Don’t give me the all-or-nothing choice,'” Ballmer said of the customers, adding that he was seeking “respectful competition” with Cisco. (Reuters)

I guess both Cisco and Microsoft were feeling a little bit of heat from some of the more open-source options that have started to come to the market. Asterisk-based solutions, in particular, have been gaining in popularity as office phone systems.

By Om Malik

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  1. Press puff.

    Go open source!

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  2. Asterisk based systems are getting impressive – for example, Fonality. But there is still a ways to go, in my humble opinion.

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  3. Jesse Kopelman Tuesday, August 21, 2007

    Om, I think your conclusion is correct. It seems that Cisco, at least, is starting to focus more on interoperability. Going back 3 years, it seemed that their general attitude was one of competition, what competition? Now I see lots of playing up of compliance with various open standards on their newer products. This could also come from the fact that they get a lot of product lines through acquisition, rather than development, and being interoperable is very important to these small companies that have only a single product line.

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  4. Spoken too soon !?

    I like the way this article starts with the news: “One day after its collaborative lovefest with Cisco, Microsoft Tuesday wiped off the lipstick and came out swinging as it introduced a new server designed to let users troubleshoot voice and video problems by monitoring network performance in real time.”

    more at: “Microsoft stashes Cisco hugs”
    http://www.networksasia.net/article.php?type=article&id_article=1813

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  5. Cisco and Microsoft Collaborating

    My friend Om wrote Cisco, Microsoft Declare Truce Over VoIP the other day. As always, Om digs in to the heart of things pretty well. He said “”I guess both Cisco and Microsoft were feeling a little bit of heat from some of the more open-source o…

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  6. [...] Cisco Systems (CSCO) and Microsoft (MSFT) are targeting some of the same customers, but IBM is being prescient in latching onto the Skype bandwagon — the small- and medium-sized businesses represent the biggest opportunity for Web-based collaboration and conferencing.  [...]

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  7. [...] Om wrote that Cisco (CSCO) and Microsoft (MSFT) have made their peace over VoIP. But while this peace accord [...]

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  8. [...] PM PT | No comments It hasn’t even been a month and there are already cracks in the much- vaunted peace accord between Cisco Systems (CSCO) and Microsoft Corp. [...]

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