Cisco worries about Skype, Microsoft Lync integration

Cisco worries about Skype, Microsoft Lync integration

Summary: Tight integration between Skype and Microsoft's Lync connection "could lock-in businesses who want to reach Skype’s 700 million account holders.


Cisco said that the European Commission should have imposed restrictions on Microsoft's purchase of Skype in fear of a potential monopoly on video calling.

The networking giant, which competes with Skype and Microsoft with its WebEx software, said it doesn't oppose the EU's approval of the merger, but wanted restrictions.

Cisco's Marthin De Beer, senior vice president of Cisco's video and collaboration group said in a blog post:

Imagine how difficult it would be if you were limited to calling people who only use the same carrier or if your phone could only call certain brands and not others. Cisco wants to avoid this future for video communications, and therefore today appealed the European Commission’s approval of the Microsoft/Skype merger to the General Court of the European Union. Messagenet, a European VoIP service provider, has joined us in the appeal.

We did not take this action lightly. We respect the European Commission, and value Microsoft as a customer, supplier, partner, and competitor. Cisco does not oppose the merger, but believes the European Commission should have placed conditions that would ensure greater standards-based interoperability, to avoid any one company from being able to seek to control the future of video communications.

Also: Cisco asks European regulators to impose conditions on Microsoft-Skype

A Microsoft spokesperson countered with the following statement:

The European Commission conducted a thorough investigation of the acquisition, in which Cisco actively participated, and approved the deal in a 36-page decision without any conditions. We’re confident the Commission's decision will stand up on appeal.

Specifically, Cisco is seeking standards for interoperability for video calling so Microsoft can't use proprietary protocols that could shut out rivals. Cisco has seen the effects of these standards up close. When Cisco bought Tandberg one condition for regulatory approval was to publish its video conferencing code. Now telepresence systems from the likes of Polycom can work well with Cisco's gear and the market has materially changed.

On the corporate front, one of Cisco's biggest worries is that Microsoft integrates Skype with its Lync unified communications platform exclusively. That Skype-Lync connection "could lock-in businesses who want to reach Skype’s 700 million account holders."

Topics: Microsoft, Cisco, Collaboration, Social Enterprise

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  • RE: Cisco worries about Skype, Microsoft Lync integration

    Naturally Microsoft will use any means to kill off its rivals. Everyone knows that. Where were you when all this was going through Cisco? Asleep?
    • RE: Cisco worries about Skype, Microsoft Lync integration


      So let me get this straight? Because Cisco has a proprietary voice/video conferencing solution that does NOT play nice with 3rd party technologies it is Microsoft that should not be allowed to make it's OWN technologies work together? Is that what you are saying? Cisco is the LAST company that should be demanding standards unless they plan on doing the same with ALL their technologies. Don't look now but your ignorance and hate are showing.
  • RE: Cisco worries about Skype, Microsoft Lync integration

    They Should. My organization is seriously considering dropping Cisco as our IP Phone/voicemail vendor for Microsoft's Unified Communications and Lync. Not only are the features better when it comes to integrating with many of the other technologies we have the price is substantially better.

    I also find it very funny that Cisco is seeking standards when they are kings at making things not standard to lock people in. We have several Cisco POE devices that will not work with POE standard switches for example. Also will these "standards" be applied to all companies that offer video conferencing and IM capabilities like Apple Facetime and whatever Google is offering these days? Or are they going to once again Single out Microsoft and let other large companies keep their lock ins.
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