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Cisco Plans Its Home Invasion 128

theodp writes "Despite lots of scars from earlier consumer craziness which included an Internet-connected fridge, Newsweek reports Cisco has set its sights on your living room, including videoconferencing which would let CEO John Chambers watch his beloved Duke basketball with far-away relatives. While recent acquisitions of Linksys and Scientific Atlanta make Cisco the only company that can come in on top of technology that's already inside homes, some skeptics say speaking to the consumer is simply not in Cisco's genes."
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Cisco Plans Its Home Invasion

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  • by AubieTurtle ( 743744 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @04:31PM (#14903487)
    Just because the CEO thinks something is cool doesn't mean the general public will. I've used all kinds of high end video conferencing systems and none of them come anywhere close to replicating the experience of being in the same room with other people. And that's in a business setting. The difference between being together and being hooked up on video conference would be even greater for social situations. Throw in the lesser quality that they're going to have to go with for a home system over a business system for cost reasons and things look really dim. Which isn't to say there would be any market, just that the experience is not likely to be compelling enough to become a big seller.
  • Control? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Homology ( 639438 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @04:33PM (#14903494)
    Consumers will exert as much control over their TVs as they now have over their Web browsers, ordering from a limitless menu of programming. With a few clicks of the remote control, viewers will be able not only to watch old movie classics, but to open video and audio connections to far-flung family members, so they can view shows (say, Duke basketball) and talk to each other as though they were all sitting in the same room.

    The dude writing the article should not should not just copy/paste something produced by Cisco market department. The remote controll as it is today is quite simply not suited for this expanded functionality, and I like my remote control to be small and not a big keyboard.

  • From TFA (1)
    audio, video and data technology requires a new type of wiring called "category 5," which has five strands within one sheath.
  • by mordors9 ( 665662 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @04:54PM (#14903562)
    But that is also the way that a lot of great products have been developed. One guy dreams up something he thinks would be really neat, brings it to market and it makes millions. Of course there have also been many products that have failed totally and completely with most of us wondering who the hell thought that up.
  • funny! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 12, 2006 @04:54PM (#14903563)
    "television, telephone and Web services will flow into living rooms over the same fat Internet pipe"
    They already do, it's called Comcast
  • by highwaytohell ( 621667 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @05:03PM (#14903604)
    Are Cisco intent on stopping all social interaction of any kind? If i want to watch the football and ogle the cheerleaders with some friends, i generally invite them over to the house, light up a barbecue and get beer out of the fridge. Cisco possibly suspect that we are all germophobes who hate leaving the confines of our house or interacting with humanity of any kind. Humanity may be evolving, but there is still that caveman/woman in us that needs to have our own social groups and interact with them. Half of the human language is based on physical presence, and this just takes all of that away. John Chambers must be living in some deluded Lawnmower Man fantasy land.
  • by unitron ( 5733 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @05:08PM (#14903628) Homepage Journal
    "Consumers will exert as much control over their TVs ..." et cetera blah, blah, blah.

    The only way consumers will have any control is if Cisco-SA-Linksys stay the hell out of the content business and have enough money and clout to tell the content business to get stuffed.

    Otherwise it's Sony all over again. The consumer isn't seen as the real customer.

  • by aggles ( 775392 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @05:44PM (#14903755)
    The home networking scene is a mess! There are overlapping wireless frequencies everywhere and plenty of security holes. Linksys has done well, but so much more is possible. How about for starters; whole-property roaming coverage, media server hooked to my stereo, backup storage, a bot system to handle my chores, multi-channel video capture, an inbound VPN listener for access into my home network while out and about, and a personal Web server. I welcome cisco into my home if it can give me these things - and it can. However, I am a consumer and demand much from my sources of technology - including transparency.
  • by ( 960072 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @06:04PM (#14903846)
    Cisco obviously has the technology, it's the marketing that needs to change. I guarantee that my mother would have trouble identifying Cisco's core technology and even if she knew of their domain, would have trouble identifying them as a brand she should look for at Best Buy. -- Jim []
  • (previously on Slashdot... []) Non-business customers won't tolerate the scam that Cisco make you go through when buying second-hand kit -- that they make sure you "relicense" the embedded software to the new owner when selling on your old kit (the software that's completely irrelevant to anything other than the hardware they sold it with). The list price of a "relicense" is usually 60-90% of the original hardware cost ... Cisco say they're only getting what's due to them but it's just rather dubious attempt at control over a legitimate after-market.

    I'm not sure that the business culture that produced this kind of revenue scraping is going to know how to sell to the general public.
  • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Sunday March 12, 2006 @08:05PM (#14904323) Homepage Journal
    Let's see what Cisco has done with one of their product lines - the venerable WRT54G. They've taken the G, then the GS, chopped the RAM, chopped the flash, installed an OS that can't be readily enhanced (and charges a royalty), released a buggy-as-all-getout software image, and raised the price. Linksys has sold dozens of these things by making a good product in the consumer space, then Cisco [apparently] came in and screwed up the company. I've recommended hundreds of these over the past few years and that's been thoroughly squelched.

    Don't get me wrong, I love a 3560 switch as much as the next guy, but their success in the technology aisle at Staples is a stinker.
  • by Lehk228 ( 705449 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @10:02PM (#14904681) Journal
    it's perfectly legitimate assuming part of the purchase involves signing some sort of actual pen and paper contract licensing the software. unlike most EULA's which tend to only stand up in court along the lines of "if you do x we will do y" and the buyer suing over action y, if you sign a contract that the license is non-transferable and the software is licensed not sold then you have no right to transfer the license.