Happy Labor Day weekend!
The surprising (or not?) news to come out earlier this week was TechCrunch reporting that Cisco is interested in Skype. The price? $5 billion. The rumor sent the blogosphere into a tizzy… Does it make sense? Does it not? What value does Skype add? Is Cisco admitting that it cannot beat Skype?
No, it doesn’t make sense. I want to see Skype go forth with its IPO. I want to see the market reaction to Skype’s valuation. What could Cisco possibly gain with Skype? Yes, there are millions more users, but most of them use Skype for free. Where’s the money in that? And if the plan is to make Skype into an enterprise communications tool, then the risk is alienating millions of everyday users. Google would be happy about that. Last time I checked, most folks don’t have expensive Cisco phones at their desks.
Come on, leave Skype alone, please.
As for something that’s less of a rumor, Alcaltel-Lucent bought another company. OpenPlug, a French company specializing in development tools for multiple mobile platforms, finds itself part of Big Telecom. What does it all mean to you? Well, if you’re not a Blackberry enterprise then you can rejoice. Yes, to me it’s just hard to believe that a mobile development tool wouldn’t support the Blackberry. But the bigger picture is that ALU continues to show that it is serious about newer Web and mobile technologies.
Google also rolled out telephony features within Gmail. It appears that Google Voice and Gmail have fused together — quite nicely, too. Now conducting a voice call is as simple as mouse clicks in the browser (Chrome, as Google hopes). Once rolled out Google saw a surge in voice usage, and that’s probably why for the past few days the quality has gone down significantly. To the point that my calls get disconnected all the time. Now I wish Google hadn’t opened up Voice for everybody to sign up…