Video Going Mainstream … Recent announcements by Cisco (the TANDBERG acquisition attempt) and Logitech (the LifeSize acquisition), point to the mainstreaming of video conferencing. “The deals underscore a growing sense that videoconferencing is finally ready to go from an exotic luxury to an everyday part of business life. Thanks to increased broadband capacity, corporate networks can now better handle bandwidth-hogging videoconferencing sessions. Scores of consumers and businesspeople have sampled low-end options such as those offered by Internet-calling provider Skype, and millions of people now carry powerful laptops and smartphones with the processing power needed to join conferences from anywhere. Cisco has helped increase visibility for videoconferencing by heavily promoting its TelePresence technology, recently in a self-mocking product placement on NBC’s 30 Rock.” More
– Cisco may be planning a $5000 or less TelePresence offering for individuals; to be announced in January.
– View the Cisco 30 Rock video.
RIM Going Up … Recent Gartner numbers show an increasing usage of RIM BlackBerry devices, and a decline in Windows Mobile usage. “The Microsoft mobile OS lost 28% of its smartphone market share in the past year, to the end of Q3, according to research firm Gartner. Its figures show that WinMo had 7.9% of the global smartphone market in the third quarter, compared to 11% a year earlier, and that the drop equated to a 20% year-on-year drop-off in shipments to 3.2m in the quarter, even in a smartphone market that grew 13% overall. However, the new release, WinMo 6.5, only became available in October, and did unleash a range of new phones, so Q4 could see some rallying.” More
– Interestingly, Microsoft sponsored research on BlackBerry vs Windows Mobile, with the research carried out by IDG.
Central Desktop and Zoho … Central Desktop’s switch to Zoho for online spreadsheets is complete. “Zoho’s online spreadsheet Zoho Sheet is now fully integrated into Central Desktop, allowing users to create, edit and share online spreadsheets in real-time with additional key features and enhancements.” More
Citrix Integrates Toll-Free Audio … Citrix announced that GoToMeeting users can now access toll-free audio conferencing service, from within GoToMeeting. “With this addition, participants now have a range of audio options to choose from, including integrated toll-free, a toll-based number, or Voice over IP (VoIP) for audio over the Internet. For the first time, participants in the same online meeting can select the audio option that is best for their needs. The audio services come with features that are flexible and easy to use, and meeting organizers are able to predict costs through affordable flat-rate plans. And unlike most services in the market requiring multiple vendors, these options are all available from Citrix Online in one convenient and easy way for customers to fulfill all of their audio and Web conferencing needs.” More
Cisco Still After TANDBERG … Cisco raised its offering price for TANDBERG to $3.4 billion. TANDBERG didn’t like a $3 billion price tag. “Cisco’s original offer for Tandberg, made on Oct. 1, was immediately said to be to low by some commentators, and on Oct. 15 a Swedish stockbroker said stockholders representing 24% of the shares in Tandberg would not accept the $3.0 billion offer. The increased offer shows how important Cisco thinks Tandberg and the video conferencing market is, according to Geir Olsen, President of Europe, Middle East and Africa at Tandberg.” More
Injoos … Injoos offers an online collaboration service for teams and groups. “Injoos team-ware organizes both content and collaboration technologies around team-based goals and enables contextual use of these technologies.Teams can quickly start working on projects and collaborate with friendly tools to achieve their goals while creating valuable knowledge assets.” Available immediately. More
Office 2010 Flavors … Office 2010 will be available in three flavors. “Office Home & Business, which includes Excel, PowerPoint, Office Web Apps, OneNote, Outlook, and Word, Office Professional including Access, Excel, Office Web Apps, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Publisher and Office Professional Plus (for volume licensing customers) that will have Access, Communicator, Excel, Infopath, Office Web Apps, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, and SharePoint Workspace. The big news here – Professional Plus. It’s unlike Microsoft to promote a volume licensing beta, and signals that the tech giant is likely to make a push on the upcoming version of Office towards enterprises, many of which who still run the seemingly outdated Office 2003.” More
– The Wall Street Journal looks at why users can’t pick their own technology at work. Some firms are allowing users much more control over what they use at work.
– Review of Windows 7 for business users by Directions on Microsoft.
– Are you allowed to buy an OEM edition of Windows 7, or not? Ed Bott looks into the details.
– The Open Office organization announced a mouse with 18 buttons.