The tablet that Cisco announced this week raises a number of interesting issues.
The first and least important is a note to Cisco marketing: It is not a good idea to name a product something that makes editors even at IT and telecom sites offer a pronunciation guide, such as the one provided by GigaOm.
On a more serious level, the Cius (pronounced see-us), which was unveiled at Cisco Live in Las Vegas, is the consumer element of a highly integrated business collaboration platform.
GigaOm's Stacey Higginbotham stresses the collaborative aspects of the device. If the Cius is primarily positioned as a corporate device, she writes, it should be successful -- assuming the sales pitch is to the CIO. Changes likely are necessary, however, if it is to make a go of it in the consumer sector. Cisco has long marketed desktop voice devices. Cius is a logical follow-on, and fits in nicely with the overall competitive situation in the unified communications sector.
Here are more details on the devices, from MercuryNews.com. The Cius-there is a pronunciation guide in this story as well-will run on the Android operating system, have a 7-inch screen, run on an Intel Atom processor and feature rear- and front-facing cameras for videoconferencing. It will support Wi-Fi and 3G, offer 32 gigabytes of Flash and cost less than $1,000. Trials are slated for the autumn and general sales for the first quarter of next year. Even more details can be found in the company's press release.
The innovation doesn't stop. It just reaches a crescendo when Apple introduces a device and pauses momentarily while everyone catches up. Wired offers commentary on what the tablet category has to do to survive in this crowded environment. While much of is written from the consumer point of view, it is a worthwhile read for enterprises as well. Tablets, the author writes, have to get "cheap enough to lose," lighter and connected at all times.
How these priorities translate into the corporate world-and to tablets that are end points in holistic systems and not standalone devices-will be an interesting and important issue for corporate planners to watch.