Timely BusinessWeek reality check on perhaps the most strategic enterprise IT competitive context for the next 5 years
In recent years, Cisco CEO John Chambers and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer have met each quarter to discuss ways for the tech titans to work together--and work through areas where they compete. But this "co-opetition" relationship is increasingly tilting more toward competition.
Despite the jockeying, this battle isn't likely to get as nasty as, say, Apple vs. Microsoft. Cisco and Microsoft still need to cooperate in plenty of areas--in part because their customers demand it. Also, Cisco wants to be in the running for huge contracts to outfit new data centers being built by Microsoft. Says Cisco Chief Development Officer Charles H. Giancarlo: "Ninety percent of our businesses are very synergistic. We've been very clear with them [about areas where they'll compete], and they've been very clear with us."