Videoconferencing Headed for the Mainstream

Paul Lilly

Recent maneuvers by networking bigwigs Cisco and Logitech seem to indicate that videoconferencing technology may be headed towards the mainstream market. That hasn't been the case up to this point, as high prices and somewhat complicated equipment have relegated virtual face-to-face meetings to enterprise applications.

But that's rapidly changing. Cisco, Logitech, and a handful of smaller companies have been wheeling and dealing with a focus towards morphing the market into a mainstream gold rush. Cisco, for example, increased its $3 billion bid for Tandberg to roughly $3.4 billion in an attempt to entice investors who felt that the original bid wasn't enough. In addition, Cisco is expected to introduce a consumer-level videoconferencing product at CES this January, Businessweek reports.

Logitech meanwhile has opend up its purse and will pay $405 million for LifeSize Communications, a company which makes high-end HD videoconferencing equipment.

By themselves, each deal isn't particularly telling, but when looking at the overall picture, it appears imminent that videoconferencing is headed towards becoming a natural part of business, both big and small, with the cost of entry on its way to being removed as a barrier.

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