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Cisco’s Skype Appeal, Windows Phone Tango Marked Microsoft Week

Posted at February 20, 2012 | By : | Categories : Blog | 0 Comment

Microsoft’s
biggest event of the week could also prove troublesome in coming months. On
Feb. 15, Cisco Systems announced that it will appeal the European Commission’s
approval of Microsoft’s Skype acquisition.

“We respect
the European Commission, and value Microsoft as a customer, supplier, partner
and competitor,” Marthin De Beer, senior vice president of Cisco’s Video and
Collaboration Group, wrote in a Feb. 15 posting on the company’s corporate blog. “Cisco does not oppose the
merger, but believes the European Commission should have placed conditions that
would ensure greater standards-based interoperability, to avoid any one company
from being able to seek to control the future of video communications.”

In simple
terms, that means Cisco wants interoperability between its products and those
of the combined Microsoft-Skype entity, particularly when it comes to the
enterprise and small and midsize businesses (SMBs): “Microsoft’s plans to
integrate Skype exclusively with its Lync Enterprise Communications Platform
could lock-in businesses who want to reach Skype’s 700 million account holders
to a Microsoft-only platform.” 

As an
antitrust regulator with significant power within the EU, the European
Commission has the capability to make things busy for Microsoft’s legal teams
(something it’s done before, such as over the presence of Internet Explorer on Windows 7.)

Microsoft’s
week wasn’t all potential roadblocks, however. Its joint venture with GE
Healthcare now seems firmly underway, with their corporate offspring given an
official name: Caradigm. The new entity will focus on aiding health-care
organizations and professionals via real-time intelligence, according to
Microsoft. Dr. Brandon Savage, the chief medical officer of GE Healthcare, will
become Caradigm’s chief medical officer and senior vice president of product
strategy.

The two
companies plan to launch Caradigm by the end of the first half of 2012, if all
goes according to plan. Although caradigm.com is currently owned by a California
health-plan provider, Microsoft and GE are in apparent negotiations to take
over the Website. 

On the rumor
front, some news leaked about Windows Phone “Tango,” reportedly Microsoft’s
next update to its smartphone operating system. According to the blog wmpoweruser.com, itself drawing the info from a
Russian Website WP7Forum.ru, the build will include new features such as being
able to manage contacts directly on the SIM card.

“Tango will
support many new countries, will be able to automatically download and update
apps via Zune, and increase the number of pre-installed applications from 16 to
40,” the blog reported. But the biggest feature is Tango’s ability to run on
256MB Windows Phones—a vital goal, if Microsoft wants to increase its
platform’s market share by offering a range of midmarket devices.

Meanwhile,
Microsoft continues to gear up for Windows 8, its next-generation operating
system for both traditional PCs and tablets. According to one analyst, the
platform could benefit from an unexpected source: Amazon’s Kindle Fire.

 “In the
wake of the new low bar for pricing set by the Fire and the Nook and the
looming Google acquisition of Motorola Mobility,” IHS analyst Rhoda Alexander
wrote in a Feb. 16 research note, “manufacturers and branded vendors are
looking to Windows 8 tablets as a more profitable alternative.” It predicts
those Windows 8 tablets will hit the market in late 2012 and early 2013, which
fits with other analyst predictions.

By then, will
Microsoft and Cisco still be tangling in front of the European Commission?

Follow Nicholas Kolakowski on Twitter 

 





Article source: Information Technology%blog%

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