Cisco's Bid To Remake the Net for the Video Age
Cisco Systems has dominated its markets for the past fifteen years. But compared with the other great tech companies, the company has always seemed to be more of a beneficiary of mega-trends, than a creator of them. IBM created the computer industry in its image in the 1960s and 1970s. Microsoft and Intel drove the PC revolution in the 1980s and 1990s. Google is leading the way into the cloud computing era. But Cisco? Whether fair or not, the general impression is that it was in the right place at the right time, as the top maker of basic networking gear just as the Net Economy was exploding. Now, Cisco wants to put its stamp on the next epoch of the Net’s development, with a concept it calls the “MediaNet.” The idea is to meld together a range of technologies and services that will make the Net far better at handling video and other rich media. For many people, video is kind of sideshow on the Net—a medium for watching the occasional YouTube video before getting back to real work. But MediaNet “will make video the natural language of the Internet,” says Cisco senior vice president of emerging technologies Marthin De Beer. “We think this will be as big or bigger than the World Wide Web. This is Web 3.0 we’re talking about here.”
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