Friday, November 18, 2005

Scary Decade

So in the last decade, everybody was busy bashing Microsoft and Microsoft was busy squishing the competition. Now MS has been defanged, the competition is moving fast and furious on all fronts.

This is really no different than what happened with IBM in the 80s after they tried to recover from anti-trust litigation and Microsoft clipped their grass.

So what's next?

Well today Cisco acquired Scientific Atlanta. Why is that so important? Well Cisco used to be only in the datacenter and eventually they pretty much powered the majority of the Internet and have now leaped forward into your living room. Yep, that PVR or set top box is probably SA/Cisco. And the the DSLam behind your next generation box it will likely be Cisco.

So what's next?

Cisco needs to buy Grass Valley and/or Omneon for broadcast equipment and make it into datacenter equipment and then they'll own the whole chain.

Google needs to license TV programming and deliver it to Cisco enabled fabrics through ISPs, bypassing the cable companies.

Cisco, Google and Apple need to merge functionality to redefine everything as we know it.

Mom and Pop ISPs need to buy a couple of wireless WiMax towers and pump ubiquitous connections for cheap everywhere all the time. If not, Google will do this for them and Cisco will help them.

So maybe Nortel, Alcatel, Microsoft, Motorola and Yahoo will get a piece of the pie but mark my words, the pie is going to be radically different from the stale one I'm chewing on now.

The showstopper is going to be (as usual) the content owners (record companies, MPAA) who are going to get owned one more time.

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