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Google Acquires Video-conferencing Tech

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Google said last night it had acquired video-conferencing software from Swedish company Marratech. The wording of the company’s blog post on the matter, titled “Collaborating with Marratech,” is far more casual than blogosphere headlines resulting from it, proclaiming Google had bought the company outright.

Google explained Marratech’s technology will help “enable from-the-desktop participation for Googlers in videoconference meetings wherever there’s an Internet connection,” but nobody’s buying that explanation, thinking instead that the company wants to add video to Google Talk.

This morning I spoke to Milton Chen, founder of a video-conferencing startup named VSee, which competes with Marratech. Chen had previously told me that teams at Google used his software to collaborate internally. He was able to shed a little more light on the deal, saying that while Google had not tried to acquire VSee or its technology outright, it had attempted to hire away his staff. Why? “They’ve tried to extend Google Talk with video for many months.”

9 Responses to “Google Acquires Video-conferencing Tech”

  1. The idea which I got from a conference room environment that delivered an experience which is so true to life an executive could use the solution instead of spending time and money traveling to meetings. The investment which I made on time the returns of the company justify the expense. The profits margin has increased tremendously.

  2. All respect to Mr Chen, but Vsee is in no way the same league with Marratech.

    Marratech is totally cross-platform on the client and the server side. Marratech runs on OS X, Windows, and Linux and is based on Java. You do have to download a client, but using their java web start you can download the client onto a machine in the background from just clicking on a web link to join an online meeting.

    We have been using Marratech for over 4 yeares in a state-wide educational network. I have worked with web and video conferencing for many years and have tested mostly everything. Marratech is a top of the line product and bests WebEX on several levels.

    Google uses a lot of Tandberg video endpoints and Marratech can connect to these with ease. It is one of the few products that bridges between video H.323 and web conferencing. Google has made a good purchase here and I think you will see them leverage this and not only use it internally.

    I doubt that Google JUST wanted to add video to Google Talk, that in it self, would have been easy. Marratech is a robust platform.

    Marratech can open, share and annotate over MS Office documents, PDFs, images and integrates nicely into websites.