Cisco’s acquisition of Jabber, Inc.

By • Oct 2nd, 2008 • Category: Blog

On Sept.19, 2008 Cisco announced a definitive agreement to acquire Jabber, Inc. a leading provider of real-time IM and Presence software. Cisco plans to embed Jabber’s presence and real-time messaging services across its product lines including Cisco WebEx® Connect and Cisco Unified Communications. This makes a lot of sense for Cisco, as it gives them a powerful, proven technology basis from which to challenge the massive support that has been building around SIP-based IM solutions (supported by Microsoft).

We are sorry, however, to see Jabber loose it’s neutrality. The company was the leading developer of open source IM and Presence solutions and a credible choice for many vendors and solution providers that wanted to integrate real-time IM and Presence into their networks and applications without risking being overshadowed by Microsoft. With Cisco throwing its status, and financial strength behind the Jabber XMPP technology the lines of competition are being more clearly drawn between Cisco and Microsoft as to who will dominate the real-time messaging and presence market. While we expect Cisco to honor most of the licensing agreements that Jabber currently has in place with its many partners at least in the short term, over time it is clear that Cisco will favor its own product efforts over the needs of current Jabber developers. This we see as a loss for the industry as a whole, since to date most of the truly exciting innovation in the real-time and presence space has come from smaller players who have had the room to tinker with new concepts and ideas that larger companies like Cisco or Microsoft do not have the luxury to pursue.

Still the acquisition is progress and we look forward to seeing how Cisco leverages the Jabber technology more fully in its own product line and steps forward with an ever more interesting set of real-time messaging and collaboration solutions.

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