Two more Skype video calling announcements at CES: Purchase of Qik (video messaging and wireless optimized streaming); GA of group video calling (after 2010 betas). And last week was Skype video on iPhone.
Skype is hot. On your mobile (Android next?), in your living room (Skype TV) and soon in your enterprise. 2011 will continue to be mainly video islands, rather than video calling interoperability, but each island is occupied by heavyweights, and they all better be wary of Skype:
+ Cisco has reinvented enterprise video with Cisco telepresence, but Umi (home) has too narrow of a use case to justify the cost and Cisco’s mobile video strategy is still on their whiteboards.
+ The Microsoft/Polycom alliance is strong in the enterprise and has a unified communications story but walls between enterprise, home and mobile are falling and Microsoft/Polycom could get buried in the rubble.
+ The HP/Vidyo pair will be interesting – Vidyo’s SVC implementation is nice – but they don’t have the marketing of the big players above, nor the innovation and reach of Skype.
+ Google video has been quiet but that won’t continue and they have the pieces to compete with anyone on this list.
A wildcard is M&A. It will happen in this space in 2011. Polycom would be the big story but smaller pieces like Qik could be more significant in the long haul. Microsoft, HP and Google are all likely acquirers. Anyone is fair game on the other side.Google+