Forget the frenzy of the consumer market as the jazzy advertising and the retail shelf space are already at logger heads with each other. Cisco Systems are planning to hawk tablet computers in the more sedate world of the business.
Cisco has recently revealed its plans of selling a tablet computer named Cius as in “see us” early in the next year. Cisco pigeonholed the product as a “collaboration tool” for the people in the business field and also mentioned that it is well suited for conducting video conferences and running business software like Cisco’s very own WebEx application.
What Cius Offers
The Cius has a 7-inch screen and runs the software of Google’s Android. Cisco is having high hopes of the product as it is expecting the developers to begin creating some business software for the product. The device also has a 720p high-definition webcam on the front side and a 5-megapixel camera on the back side which has been designed for still images and streaming the videos. The Cius may have an edge over most of the consumer oriented products. This is because Cisco will ship it with a variety of security as well as management controls which have been aimed at pleasing I.T. departments.
Cisco has been heavily stressing a collaboration that is video-based. This is driving the demand for specialized products, the networking routers and switches. These devices generate much of the company’s revenue.
Cisco is emulating some technology choices and strategies despite of the specialized focus of other companies in the tablet field. Cius uses Google Inc.’s Android operating system as well as Intel Corp.’s Atom microprocessor chip. Both of these have been chosen by all the companies planning to sell tablets to consumers. Cisco is also trying to convince as many software companies to develop specialized business oriented applications that can be use on the device. These will be probably distributed by Google’s marketplace for Android apps.
Customer trials of the device are expected to begin in the third quarter of 2010 and with a general availability in the first quarter of 2010. Pricing of Cius has not been established yet but according to a Cisco spokeswoman its cost is estimated to be less than $1,000.
Though Cius will not be running directly on applications based on Microsoft Corp.’s Windows operating system but some companies have already used the virtual desktop technology to let users access Windows programs that run on servers. Mr. Bates thinks Cius will prove useful particularly in fields of hospitals and universities and also among the users who roam in a campus of buildings and who don’t want to carry heavy laptops with them.
The Cisco brand has been recently becoming more popular in more and more public places. The company sells Internet phones that can be easily settled on the desk of the worker. It also has a Flip video recorder for consumers. The Cius would definitely fit in with this trend of Cisco as the company is branching out of the data center.