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Optical/IP

Another $3B Down

1:30 PM -- First impressions on Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) putting up $3.2 billion to buy WebEx Communications :

1. Whoa.

2. Cisco really can't avoid competing with Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM). They keep saying they don't want to, but that could be Cisco's future growth vector, given how tough the consumer market will be.

3. What happens to MeetingPlace? That's the thing Cisco bought with Latitude Communications in January 2004. It's what they use on all conference calls, including those with the press. What's to become of the friendly MeetingPlace Lady? (And the 999 buttons you have to press in order to actually get into a meeting?)

Speaking of which -- gotta run. I've got a call on MeetingPlace right now (seriously).

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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