Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Microsoft takes on Cisco with Nortel alliance | CNET News.com

Microsoft takes on Cisco with Nortel alliance CNET News.com: "Microsoft's announcement Tuesday that it has formed a strategic partnership with Nortel Networks to jointly develop and sell Internet-based telephony and communications services is a clear indication the software powerhouse plans to go toe-to-toe with Cisco Systems, the leader in corporate communications. "

I see a broader market trend with network equipment vendors being increasingly commoditized as plumbing, with less of a user-visible value proposition, and a shift to software-based user experiences and tools for all forms of communication; in that respect, the Microsoft/Nortel partnership may accelerate some market dynamics, but it's not strictly about Microsoft-versus-Cisco -- it's more of a market segment-level shift.
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