back to article Euro judge flings out Cisco beefs against Microsoft-Skype deal

Cisco’s European challenge to Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype has been thrown out by a judge. The European Court of Justice ruled on Tuesday that Microsoft’s ownership of Skype doesn’t damage competition in either the consumer or video communications markets. “Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype is compatible with the internal …


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  1. RonWheeler


    Meet kettle.

    1. Bartholomew

      Re: Pot

    2. theblackhand

      Re: Pot

      While both companies may not be as open, I'm unsure why Reg readers are so keen to play the man rather than the ball in these discussions.

      If you were looking at federating with Skype to allow integration of small offices or external consultants/contractors with a videoconferencing deployment, this used to be supported regardless of your videoconferencing vendor. Now you're going to be deploying Lync to integrate Skype with your existing videoconferencing infrastructure which is OK if you're a all Windows deployment or are prepared to hold your breath for full OSX support).

      The merging of Skype and MSN and the integration of e-mail ID's into Win8 is creating one large contact database that will provide federation to corporate environments. Arguably Apple might be doing the same thing (unlikely, they haven't shown any inclination to play well with Enterprises in the past) and Google are doing the same (although they seem to be closing their API's for this as well) so maybe it doesn't matter which shade of black we choose for our ID cars.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        prepared to hold your breath for full OSX support

        Not going to be a big issue really. Most of the corporate mac users run a windows VM anyhow. Easiest way to see who is a style over substance type the few people in the large corporate i know running OSX on their MacBooks and are all competent and mostly but not exclusively tech based.

        So then why run a macbook with windows exclusively (given this is a company that fully supports OSX users but tell you to sod off if its linux) other than a stylistic choice. The alternatives are much better specced machines even in ultraslim category.

  2. spodula

    More lols from

    From the company who's hardware basically *is* the internet backbone

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: More lols from

      Their hardware might be the backbone but it still uses open standards. Anybody who wishes to can build their own routing equipment and communicate with the backbone. This is not the case with Skype. Skype uses propriety protocols which means you can not easily integrate other systems with it.

      1. InsaneGeek

        Re: More lols from

        Umm... historically Cisco pretty much been the worst on creating proprietary protocols that only they support. Heck they have their own Cisco proprietary protocols wiki page

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: More lols from

          And yet if you want to make equipment that works with Cisco gear you look up the protocols, design and build the equipment and there is no need to pay Cisco.

          Perhaps you could point me to were the Skype protocols are defined?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Cisco proprietary protocols

          Read the details on the page you posted.

          Most of the proprietary protocols were pre-standard or there is an alternative protocol that can be used. Where there isn't an alternative or standard there are per-vendor proprietary protocols (

          Assuming you're putting a large, ethernet network together, you can safely use standards for routing BGP and OSPF or ISIS) and whatever hardware vendor you feel comfortable managing. Not all vendors provide the same level of managability or performance but depending on the shop it may not matter.

  3. Random K

    Sweet Juicy Justice

    Apparently I'm not the only one who finds it hilarious that a company which can't even seem to properly support SIP on their VoIP devices/PBXs (or unified whatever the hell they want to call them) is complaining about standards. Funny, they weren't the least bit interested in open standards back before they started bleeding red ink due to competition that wasn't afraid to build inter-operable systems. If this keeps up I might have to go renew my certifications. Cisco training might be worth something again!

  4. dan1980
    Thumb Down

    Vested interest != wrong

    While I don't believe anyone above is arguing for closed standards, we have to be careful not to slip automatically into an appeal to motive.

    Almost all such companies like open standards when they are a smaller part of the market and closed standards when they are the dominant player. It might be interesting to note, however, that Cisco (relatively) recently released EIGRP as an open standard. The motives might be debatable but one thing you can be sure of is that the routing market is a FAR different place to the software market as the Internet fairly runs on the fact that the protocols are open.

    Regardless of their obvious vested interest, Cisco have a legitimate point. 'The Internet' seems to be taking backwards steps as it was built and expanded under freedom and openness. Now, as we deliver ever more complex functionality over the Internet - to the point of running full applications inside a browser, and beyond - the technologies are becoming more closed.

    Custom CODECs and plugins and frameworks and now, while we are finally starting to cast off Flash and the more-recent Silverlight, we have the W3C themselves planning to turn HTML into a nice, convenient packaging for custom, closed DRM APIs.

    Proprietary protocols and closed standards have their place, just not on the Internet, please.

  5. Sirius Lee

    Do standards work?

    Not really. Sure if two parties agree then *technically* they can. But it's not really about standards except to a techie. SIP and RTP have been around for ages and there have been lots of hardware and software components created to use them. And yet Skype comes along and users love it, not the stuff built on the open standards. So why is that?

    Almost uniformly because the products based on SIP are crap. And it's easy to understand why. You put some effort into creating a software component which implements SIP that shines. Someone else comes along with a less good good but plausible implementation but which takes away market share. Then every Tom, Dick and Harriet does the same so that eventually you have a market flooded with poor quality components. The good ones die because it takes effort to implement standards well in software and effort means more expense which if not supported by a market mean death to the product.

    In my opinion the likes of Avaya and Cisco play the same game. They provide plausible but inferior tools. They are just good enough to keep customers from looking at 3rd party products and come with promises of support. Microsoft appears to have done something similar with Lynx. Sure it supports SIP but as I understand it, unlike all other implementation which are based on stateless UDP, Microsoft's is based on stateful TCP so incompatible.

    The effect of all this is to drive the quality of products based on standards down. So it's not a surprise that end-users choose a tool which uses proprietary protocols (which they don't care about) but one that works and has support options. Apple didn't gain market share because it's open and innovated with hardware, it gained market share because it's closed and offers support options that mean something to users.

    This market is not the only one suffering from this issue over standards. Sure you could use the standard compliant Netscape or you could use the well supported browser that came with Windows. And we know how that worked out. Or, you could download a browser based POP3 client that you run on your own server or you could choose to use Hotmail or Gmail. Users made their choices in their millions.

    Standards are great, but if there's no way to monetize them they will not be used or will be subverted. After all, everyone needs to eat, even the software developers using open standards.

    Only people who want a free ride on the back of the efforts of others are enthusiastic about standard because it's potentially cheap for them. It is a disaster for the individuals on whom that self-serving Utopian vision depends.

  6. JaitcH


    with the NSA.

    All it's routers and other network gear spring to attention when GEN. Keith Alexander's lads come a' knocking.

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