Cisco Flips out over consumer plans
I have never been more disappointed in Cisco Systems as I am today.
As you are probably aware by now Cisco decided to put an end to its popular Flip digital camera and Flip share software. I am a big fan of the Flip. I have several of them including one from the original PureDigital days. Cisco acquired PureDigital a few years ago for $590 million.
I think the Flip is a perfect solution for me both professionally and personally. I really enjoy using the product. It's super easy. But I guess I'm in the minority.
Cisco said that some aspects of it's consumer business will still move forward – mainly its Linksys products – the motivation behind the move is to bring all of its technologies back to the enterprise and service provider business. So what happened to Cisco's consumer play and long term strategy that started with acquisitions of Scientific Atlanta and Linksys and others?
The big trend these days is the consumerization of IT. I pretty sure I heard John Chambers, company CEO, says that a number of times in keynotes. He has also told me during press interviews that if you had to fail; he would rather fail fast.
And, this looks like a fast dare I say even hasty decision.
I know that Apple with its iPhone can act as a camcorder, but there is something to be said for a specialty product like the Flip. The Flip was the best product in its class and users look for these types of products.
The Flip's audio capabilities was lacking, but its latest version with its new port did address that problem through alliance partners.
The writing was on the wall when Jonathan Kaplan head of Cisco's consumer products business left the company recently. He was the one time CEO of PureDigital.
Cisco also continue to carry the consumer version of TelePresence videoconferencing system called Umi.
We are deep into the YouTube generation and Cisco no longer has a product that's perfect for YouTube. I hope Cisco does not shelve the Flip and sell it to another company. I doubt they will do that. Cisco said it would continue to support Flip users like me, but at the end of the day the Flip is no longer a priority for Cisco and that makes me sad.

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