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opticalwatcher 12/5/2012 | 3:16:16 PM
re: Cisco's Consumer Branding Crisis Maybe they see the light.

If Microsoft can make the XBox into an IPTV set-top, then how is Cisco going to compete?

Both Microsoft and ATT are very familiar with the advantages of a monopoly--that they are working together is a little scary. By working with ATT, Microsoft can force one subsidized piece into your home, then everything else they own ties into this.

Think about why Microsoft got into the IPTV business in the first place. Remember Light Reading's first article about Microsoft entering the IPTV market years ago, and how most people were not taking them seriously? At the time I said that it was wrong to underestimate them. I'm saying it again now.

Just think about it: they put a large hard drive, and maybe even an HD-DVD into the XBox, and turn it into an IPTV box. It also allows downloadable movies over the internet, connection to your Windows PC and/or Windows home server for your pictures, music (think Zune), and other media. ATT offers it as their new console for all their IPTV deployments.

Microsoft, in one fell swoop (in ATTs territory), has just severely hurt or even wiped out:
Scientific Atlanta (Cisco)
Apple (Mac, Apple TV, and maybe eventually iPod)
Sony (PS3, Blu-Ray)
TiVo (and all the others)
Linux (just try tying this system to your Linux box)
All the other IPTV middleware vendors
All the IPTV telecom boxes that don't work with Microsoft

you name it.

I know that this is the third message when I've talked about this, so I'll stop now. I just don't think people understand just what is going on here.
Mark Sebastyn 12/5/2012 | 3:16:16 PM
re: Cisco's Consumer Branding Crisis Tera - I understand and agree 100%

Cisco will solve the L1-L3 problem in the home
Microsoft will solve L4+
tsat 12/5/2012 | 3:16:14 PM
re: Cisco's Consumer Branding Crisis
I think Microsoft has failed in their stragety to use an Xbox as a set-top box. they could have done it with the original Xbox, all the technology was in there. They talked about it, but it never happened. Microsoft does not really have a good track record with cutting-edge new technologies like that.

Maybe Cisco could pull it off? But Cisco is not already in your living room.

burn0050 12/5/2012 | 3:16:14 PM
re: Cisco's Consumer Branding Crisis Craig,
I think you're missing the point. Tivo isn't a set top box - it's attached to a set top box. It's a DVR - and say what you want, while Motorola and SA claim to have DVR's - they're junk.

Tivo is a darling in the consumer market - people use the name synonymously with recording. How many times have you heard on TV "I Tivo'ed it.." It has huge consumer presence.

It's the software that makes Tivo special, and the crap they have in the current boxes (I curse my Motorola DVR on a nightly basis) just doesn't compare to Tivo (I still have my beloved Tivo on my upstairs tv).

Cisco should buy Tivo and integrate the software into their SA boxes and crush the market.
edgesansonet 12/5/2012 | 3:16:14 PM
re: Cisco's Consumer Branding Crisis I think most posters missed the information overburdening scenario arising in the home convergence market. And the most convincing market leader in that niche is ...Google. Google will win finally..hands down.

And this is how it will play out in the next few years:
- Microsoft's core markets will remain stagnant or shrink due to saturation of pc software
- Cisco's core switching and routing markets will remain stagnant or shrink due to commoditization of switches and routers
- Carriers like AT&T will shrink in revenue due to steadily increasing call and video traffic over the Internet. AT&T's IPTV initiative will only succeed so far. Cable will be a big competitor too in the same markets.
- Content vendors will start broadcasting live over the internet as connectivity becomes ubiquitous and cheap and with huge available bandwidths.

The final winners will be the optical system manufacturers and Google followed by Yahoo. Live.com will remain an also-ran. Make no mistake this change is disruptive.
roadie_biker 12/5/2012 | 3:16:13 PM
re: Cisco's Consumer Branding Crisis If all these companies are going to fail and remain stagnant, then do you anticipate companies like EMC, NetApp etc to gain?

Video on Demand and IPTV, TiVo on Demand etc is sure to create a surge in demand for massive amounts of media storage.

opticalwatcher 12/5/2012 | 3:16:13 PM
re: Cisco's Consumer Branding Crisis "I think Microsoft has failed in their stragety to use an Xbox as a set-top box....Microsoft does not really have a good track record with cutting-edge new technologies like that."

If you are old enough to remember--that's exactly what they said about Windows 2.0.

It's the partnership with ATT that does it--ATT can make it 'the' console for its IPTV.
prs6str 12/5/2012 | 3:16:12 PM
re: Cisco's Consumer Branding Crisis How do you know the margins will be so bad? I've heard the low-end product at Cisco produces some of the best margins and they don't seem to be upset with the linksys effects on their overall margin.

I also don't see how intelligent home networking for Cisco is analogous to your starbucks example. They are already successful there, and it's not even a stretch for them technically. It's more a business model/public awareness issue. But I won't be surprised if they succeed...it's just a matter of the level of success.

Cisco has better vision than Apple, Apple has cooler products. But, when the box sits in the closet or quietly and efficiently does it's task, I would guess folks won't want to pay for the Apple panache. I personally want just a TV in view (or equivalent functionality) with decent speakers. Everything else is a supporting player and can be a black box in a closet rack. The stack of visible gear makes no sense in the future. In this case, Cisco could own the rack because you just want it to work.
prs6str 12/5/2012 | 3:16:12 PM
re: Cisco's Consumer Branding Crisis this post deserves comment...

MS - Saturation of PC software? I suspect there will be additional PC software developed in the future and Microsoft will develop a lot of it. Whether they blow it remains to be seen, but the role of the PC may retreat to the office for the home. As an owner of their PC based home solution (MCE2005), I'm now a strong believer in the networked appliance approach. I've had to troubleshoot and rebuild my MCE PC too often for it to be a success - and it is a dedicated pre-packaged version. In essence, a PC is like the new mainframe. It's time to break it up into lots of specialized tiny pieces and attach them to the network. MS will not run on most of them.

Cisco - The market for routing and switching will shrink while most of the world moves to delivering all services such as HDTV to the home via IP...hmmm...care to take bets? Cisco will win the home network and battle for the intelligence portion. I don't see them ever seriously producing TVs, stereos, speakers, etc. That market they'll concede to traditional CE companies to allow for limitless choice and competition for the consumer while ensuring they can all work together over their infrastructure - just like they did in the enterprise. This will allow partnering with key companies like Sony over time (once Sony figures out they can't win Cisco's plumbing part). Cisco needs to quickly build their integration partner strategy so that all contractors spec Cisco stuff in home network installs...then build recognition in the consumer space that Cisco = quality and interoperability so consumers ask for them by name or chose them on at the store. Then they will be free to pick their favorite brand of network enabled TV, etc.

Optical systems manufacturers? Optical is mostly hw - until there is extensive sw involved, it will continue to commoditize faster than anything MS or Cisco does. And, for the foreseeable future, Optical will simply be used to connect Cisco devices because IP won, not raw circuit bandwidth nor circuit based architectures.

Google has a great future, but as far as I can tell, they have no play in the intelligent home network plumbing that Cisco should easily dominate. Just as Cisco grew from owning corporate networks, they can work from their home network base. I think MS is Cisco's primary competition, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Google unseat MS going forward. It's not clear who will compete with Cisco for the plumbing part. I see an MS/Cisco, Google/Cisco or even Cisco/Cisco future. In any case Cisco will participate.

Just my opinion obviously
tsat 12/5/2012 | 3:16:09 PM
re: Cisco's Consumer Branding Crisis That rack still needs sexy software. Apple has that aspect nailed. Cisco is still a long ways off. Unless it buys Tivo.

If you take the user interface out of the hidden rack you speak of, then it is still just the equivelent of a linksys router, IMHO.

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