Instant messaging (IM) may still be frowned on – or even banned – from many offices. But for many – especially those just entering the workforce – IM’s real-time text conversation and file sharing software has replaced email as their communications media of choice.
And IM gains more respectability with the announcement over the weekend that networking giant Cisco will buy Jabber, whose software allows users of rival freebie IM programmes, such as Apple’s iChat, Google’s Talk, Microsoft Windows Messenger and Yahoo Messenger, to interact with each other, plus send messages to commercial grade programmes such as Microsoft’s Office Communications Server.
Cisco says Jabber’s technology will allow it to embed instant messaging in its own collaboration products, including Cisco Unified Communications and WebEx the web conferencing service it bought last year.
The company says it will also utilise Jabber’s smarts add IM capability to PostPath, yet another recent acquisition. PostPath is an online email and calendaring app that competes with Microsoft’s Live services and Google Apps like Gmail and Calendar in an online collaboration software market Cisco sees exploding from peanuts today to $US34 billion a year.
Market researcher IDC says the collaboration market grew 17 per cent during 2007, and will clip along at 26 per cent from 2011.
Cisco did not disclose terms of the deal.