Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Cisco Flips the Video Switch Off

My personal video shooting has been growing steadily over the past decade, and was greatly augmented by the Flip MinoHD camera.  Three techs were merged into one: 4GB of Flash RAM, HD quality video, and an easy-to-use USB dongle which makes for no messy cables. Finally a device designed to shoot and upload, allowing a fairly seamless path from initial creativity to final publication.  I loved this opportunity so much I presented at Podcamp Cleveland last year with a presentation called "Global Self Publication".

Well, as often happens to good ideas, this one has come to a quiet end: Cisco, the networking behemoth that acquired Flip Video's parent Pure Digital Technologies, Inc. in 2009, has decided to close the company.  The following is from their press release:

"Close down its Flip business and support current FlipShare customers and partners with a transition plan.

Refocus Cisco's Home Networking business for greater profitability and connection to the company's core networking infrastructure as the network expands into a video platform in the home. These industry-leading products will continue to be available through retail channels.
"We are making key, targeted moves as we align operations in support of our network-centric platform strategy," said John Chambers, Cisco chairman and CEO. "As we move forward, our consumer efforts will focus on how we help our enterprise and service provider customers optimize and expand their offerings for consumers, and help ensure the network's ability to deliver on those offerings."

I can imagine that while Cisco suggest that they are quietly closing this $590 Million acquisition to refocus their energies on enterprise networking, they may merely be reacting to the smartphone tsunami, which in the form of the iPhone and Android platforms, along with competitor Nokia, offer inexpensive devices which shoot very nice video and can upload via 3G, 4G, WiFi, and Wimax networks.  They'll use their Eos products to help people manage & distribute all that video they're shooting with their wireless devices.


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