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Optical/IP

Microsoft Unifies Its Plans

6:00 PM -- Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) has unveiled its intentions to compete with Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and others in the enterprise market with its shiny new "unified communications" strategy.

The strategy is a ways off yet. Redmond is talking about connecting users via calls, IM, and email over all types of communications devices as part of a second-quarter refresh of its Exchange and Office products next year. This should give rivals a reasonable amount of time to plot new launch strategies and marketing messages of their own.

Unless I'm completely misreading it, the strategy also seems to focus more on extending Microsoft's existing software platforms than offering a clear move to enterprise fixed/mobile convergence via WiFi networks -- even though Microsoft certainly has partners that can bring corporate WiFi infrastructure and mobile IP phones to the table. HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) and Siemens AG (NYSE: SI; Frankfurt: SIE) come to mind.

Perhaps, however, Microsoft isn't yet ready to tangle with Cisco in the enterprise wireless space. Who can blame them? The networking giant already has a stranglehold on the WiFi equipment business, and its market share doesn't look likely to go south any time soon.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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