Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Communications IT News

Cisco To Buy Jabber 66

Posted by Soulskill
from the swallowed-whole dept.
Danny Rathjens writes "In the continuing trend of big companies buying out small companies with open source products, Cisco has announced that they are buying Jabber. The press release doesn't really talk about the open source aspect of Jabber, and Jabber's website doesn't mention the news yet. I'm sure the question many of us have is whether Jabber's open source status will be changed in any way due to the purchase." Reader Eddytorial had this to contribute: "eWEEK offers a good look into how Jabber's messaging client will fit into Cisco Systems' overall 'presence' strategy in its market wars with Avaya, Microsoft, Nortel, and others. Cisco, which already had a basic instant messaging option, but one that didn't scale for an enterprise nearly as well as Jabber's, has just about everything else in place." It's also worth noting that Cisco open-sourced Etch in recent months.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Cisco To Buy Jabber

Comments Filter:
  • by Rayeth (1335201)

    I think Cisco's entire marketing strategy is to buy out companies of products they wish they had and then rebrand and sell them.

    Can I replace Chambers as the CEO?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I think Cisco's entire marketing strategy is to buy out companies of products they wish they had and then rebrand and sell them.

      Although I don't think that it's the case here Cisco also has a history of buying the competition and discontinuing their products. Buyouts can be a way to increase your engineering staff.

      • by ksd1337 (1029386)
        Even if it were the case, it wouldn't matter. Jabber, the IM protocol, is open-source, so it will continue to be developed for a long time even if the official team is disbanded to be used as engineers for other projects.
        • by cloakable (885764)

          If they've bought the rights to Jabber, they can close source it from the next version. The current version will still be open source though, and would likely be forked.

        • by shitzu (931108)

          How could a "protocol" be "open source"? A protocol does not hava a "source", so it would be very hard to make it "open source".

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by phillyclaude (215272)

      I think Cisco's entire marketing strategy is to buy out companies of products they wish they had and then rebrand and sell them.

      Can I replace Chambers as the CEO?

      Cisco's done that along. pretty much every product line besides routers has been an acquisition

    • Buy enough stock and get on the Board of Directors and you can find someone to replace Chambers.
      Cisco, like Oracle, are in the enterprise level market for many years but Cisco has several SMB/consumer division like Linksys so this is nothing new to them. Jabber will increase the horizontal market for Cisco.
      Oracle doesn't really have something so it will interesting to see what they take over...er merge.

  • by CaptainPuff (323270) on Friday September 19, 2008 @07:16PM (#25079915)
    Does this mean I can finally hook our jabber based IM server/clients into Cisco Call Manager as easy as I can into our SIP stuff without going through a god awful JTAPI interface? I can't wait!!!
  • Or.... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Starmengau (1367783)
    I think the real question is not whether Jabber's open-source status will be impacted, but whether Cisco will try to be all redactive and decide that the open source licensing of current and previous versions of jabber (which for most people works perfectly well as it is) are unforkable and/or non-distributable.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Darkness404 (1287218)

      but whether Cisco will try to be all redactive and decide that the open source licensing of current and previous versions of jabber (which for most people works perfectly well as it is) are unforkable and/or non-distributable.

      Ummm... How many companies have managed to successfully stop all forks of a product without killing the current product?

      • by SL Baur (19540)

        Ummm... How many companies have managed to successfully stop all forks of a product without killing the current product?

        Heh, like Lucid Emacs?

    • Re:Or.... (Score:4, Informative)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday September 19, 2008 @07:34PM (#25080137) Journal
      Doesn't much matter whether they try or not. I don't know of any even remotely common OSS licences that can be retroactively rescinded. They can certainly stop releasing under an OSS licence, and they could, if they felt like it, pull all the mirrors they control quite suddenly; but if somebody else has a copy that has been released under an OSS licence, they can't do much of anything about it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by darkpixel2k (623900)

        Doesn't much matter whether they try or not. I don't know of any even remotely common OSS licences that can be retroactively rescinded. They can certainly stop releasing under an OSS licence, and they could, if they felt like it, pull all the mirrors they control quite suddenly; but if somebody else has a copy that has been released under an OSS licence, they can't do much of anything about it.

        But how can you 'buy the rights' to a program and then close source it? Did they find each and every developer that contributed to Jabber and get him/her/them to allow Cisco to have their 'share' in the ownership?

        If I release a cool product under Open Source, and then 50 other developers contribute to it--how can I sell the license to use their work and close source it?

        • As others have pointed out, Jabber inc. doesn't even have an OSS of note, so it doesn't really apply in this case. The question is a valid one, though.

          You do require the permission of all copyright holders of portions of a work in order to relicence that work. For just this reason, some projects will only accept code contributions on the condition that copyright of the contributed code be assigned to the project owner. This allows the project owner to make licensing changes in the future. Some projects ha
        • This has very little to do with Open Source. Jabber sells proprietary software http://www.jabber.com/ [jabber.com] (NOT http://www.jabber.org/ [jabber.org] ) which uses the XMPP system they developed (which used to be called the "Jabber" network, but changed its name when it was standardised).

          XMPP is currently looked after by the XMPP Standards Foundation, so this doesn't affect the status of the standards, except that Peter Saint-Andre, who does a lot of the work mantaining, improving and drafting XMPP-based standards, works for Ja

        • "If I release a cool product under Open Source, and then 50 other developers contribute to it--how can I sell the license to use their work and close source it?"

          Do it the way other companies already have done it: only accept patches if copyright is transferred to you. That of course, won't disallow forks, but it will ensure you will be in control about the next release's license.

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I think the real question is not whether Jabber's open-source status will be impacted

      ...whether Jabber's open-source status will be affected [slashdot.org]. This is Slashdot, not a marketing department or a boardroom. Let's use English instead of Marketese. Further reading [mtholyoke.edu].

    • Re:Or.... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Randle_Revar (229304) * <kelly.clowers@gmail.com> on Friday September 19, 2008 @09:12PM (#25081079) Homepage Journal

      Well, Jabber Inc owns Jabber XCP, which is closed already.

      Jabberd 1.4 and Jabberd2 are not owned, controlled or even affiliated with Jabber Inc. Openfire and ejabberd are likewise not connected to Jabber Inc. Furthermore, all are FOSS and the license cannot be revoked.

      As for XMPP itself, it is managed by the independent, non-profit XMPP Standards Foundation, and the core of XMPP also exists as several Standards Track IETF RFCs.

    • by SL Baur (19540)

      I think the real question is not whether Jabber's open-source status will be impacted, but whether Cisco will try to be all redactive

      Bah.

      THEY^H^H^H^HWE CANNOT DO THAT.

      Any questions?

      Disclaimer: I work for Cisco, primarily supporting Open Source within the company. I do not speak for Cisco.

    • by bl8n8r (649187)

      > decide that the open source licensing of current and previous versions
      > of jabber (which for most people works perfectly well as it is) are
      > unforkable and/or non-distributable.

      You can't do that (under the GPL anyway). Once a pile of code is
      released under GPL, the licensing status for that version cannot be changed.

      Worst case, as far as I can see, is Cisco says that jabber is assimilated
      and no longer GPL'd. That doesn't stop anyone from taking code from last
      week (already released) and forking.

  • Cisco? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Friday September 19, 2008 @07:20PM (#25079959)
    I thought Cisco was the imaginary company that runs the internet in Eureka?
  • Jabber Inc (Score:5, Informative)

    by ensignyu (417022) on Friday September 19, 2008 @07:29PM (#25080069)

    It's important to note that Cisco is only buying Jabber Inc. XMPP is an open standard, so anyone can implement their own client or server, and lots of people have. That's not going to change, regardless of what Cisco does.

    Furthermore, Jabber Inc's XCP server isn't even open source. I suspect that other Jabber servers such as the open source jabberd and ejabberd are much more commonly used in the open source community.

    So Cisco's acquisition of Jabber Inc really has no impact on the Jabber/XMPP open source community. In fact, continuing to develop Jabber XCP as a commercial product can only help push the adoption of XMPP, which is good for everyone.

    • Re:Jabber Inc (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mo (2873) on Friday September 19, 2008 @08:29PM (#25080673)
      The weird thing about Jabber Inc. is how irrelevant they are to the XMPP scene. There's a huge array of jabber servers and clients out there, and Jabber Inc. doesn't really have anything to do with any of them. Then there's the whole branding shift from calling it XMPP instead of Jabber. I'm not quite sure what Jabber Inc. brings to the table for Cisco to buy them.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 19, 2008 @08:47PM (#25080853)

        Jabber Inc was never a huge player in the Jabber scene. They're just a company that snatched the name Jabber after a similarly named protocol was invented.

        Well, at least it worked for fooling Cisco.

      • by gad_zuki! (70830)

        I dont think it brings anything to the table for them. The higher-ups and bean counters wanted to "own" some part of this new protocol but you cant buy an open standard. So they just bought this firm and put it on the big list of "technologies we bought." Now Jabber isnt some hackey protocol, its a respectable product from a smart acquisition. Someone at Cisco is no doubt getting promoted for wasting money. Perhaps this purchase indemnifies them in some legal way I dont quite understand.

        To be fair, they a

        • Re:Jabber Inc (Score:4, Insightful)

          by davolfman (1245316) on Saturday September 20, 2008 @12:47AM (#25082479)
          Or perhaps it gets them a few programmers who already know the ins and outs of said protocol and can now be added to projects creating an enterprise product from the system.
          • by mgblst (80109)

            Wow, if only there was another way of doing this, like creating job adds paying a lot of money (but $56 million)

            • Job ads are a crapshoot anyway, especially if centralized management prevents hiring authority by those able to judge competence. Also if you can skip the costs of training, acclimating a new team to each other, leasing new space to put them in, appropriating new computers. I could see a drop in the bucket like $56 million must be for Cisco with several advantage in time-to-market could make buying the whole kit-and-kaboodle very attractive. This is hypothetical but I think it's reasonable.
    • by mike_sucks (55259)

      Can someone please mod this up further? Geeze, talk about most misleading story of the day.

      /Mike

    • Who is the organizer of the XMPP working group?  Who accepts/rejects new additions to the standard?
    • by nurb432 (527695)

      But you don't want to mess up the sensationalistic summary with facts do you?

      All quite true 'the protocol is free' comments aside, they did buy brand recognition, which is a pretty powerful tool and can work for us, or against us depending on what Cisco has planned.

  • Cisco (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@gmai l . com> on Friday September 19, 2008 @07:43PM (#25080223) Homepage Journal

    Cisco already provides phones, PBX, etc. and tools to mix your voicemail and e-mail into one system. Buying an IM company allows them to offer voicemail, e-mail, and IM on one platform. However they could have just used Jabber without buying it, unless they intend to end the open source licensing.

    • Re:Cisco (Score:4, Insightful)

      by gehrehmee (16338) on Friday September 19, 2008 @07:53PM (#25080341) Homepage

      Or if they just wanted a good way to get engineers who know their way around a particular family of technology, and who have a successful name backing them up...

      • by Specter (11099)

        It's more likely that they are unsatisfied with their existing presence/messaging options (Unified Communicator and/or WebEx AIMPro) and felt they needed to build up the portfolio.

        I imagine there are many enterprises telling them: "Hey, can't we just have an application independent presence engine and not have it tied to whatever flavor of the month you've got for your IM?"

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Randle_Revar (229304) *

      >unless they intend to end the open source licensing.
      Jabber XCP is not OSS

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Cisco already has a presence product as part of it's unified communications offering. I think it's based on SIP and SIMPLE, though, rather than XMPP. Perhaps this acquisition was in recognition of the prevalence of XMPP as a standard. In this light, I think the announcement bodes welll for all XMPP based products.

      Interestingly, the Jabber XCP appears to have been expressly engineered and marketed to integrate nicely with other Cisco products, such as WebEx and MeetingPlace. So maybe none of this should

    • by gjws (1367793)
      I believe Cisco would be looking at Jabber for its intra-domain federation capabilities and basic IM functionality. Today Cisco can integrate with Microsoft Office Communicator and Sametime, and they also have their own client, Personal Communicator. It is simple to link seperate companies / domain using SIP but it's actually quite tough to link multiple platforms within the same company. This may sound uncommon but it actually happens quite often believe it or not. On the IM front, if you have ever used
    • by ksd1337 (1029386)
      They probably want to release a proprietary version more integrated with their existing platform, however.
  • by quetwo (1203948) on Friday September 19, 2008 @09:48PM (#25081307) Homepage

    At Avaya's latest trade conference this spring (Avaya is Cisco's largest competitor in the PBX/VoIP/Video scape), Avaya introduced a very large partnership with Jabber Inc., to help with presence solutions (Avaya's presence solution, while based on SIMPLE/SIP, is not very well supported outside the SIP world). They were expected to release their product sometime this fall, that would allow true presence aggregation and integration with their many VoIP and Video products.

    As of this morning, these partnerships are dead, along with these revolutionary products. Official word is "This acquisition will not harm Avaya or Nortel's existing presence products, but further development on partnership products will no longer continue."

    I guess Cisco won't fall behind in this realm after all.

  • You can always fork. It would be silly/stupid for Cisco to try to retroactively change licensing terms. Of course, it would not be the first stupid thing they had ever done... nevertheless, they are not known for such.
    • by Randle_Revar (229304) * <kelly.clowers@gmail.com> on Saturday September 20, 2008 @03:46AM (#25083221) Homepage Journal

      How does stuff like this get post and modded insightful, when there are already numerous post stating that:

      1. the protocol is open
      2. OSS licenses can't be retroactively revoked
      3. The Jabber Inc product, Jabber XCP, is not and never has been Open Source.
      4. There are 3 or 4 major OSS xmpp servers already, and several smaller ones (and none of these have been bought).

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by TheRaven64 (641858)

        1. the protocol is open

        The core protocol, anyway. Being based on XML, it allows arbitrary extensions. Apple extended it in a few ways and didn't document them, breaking compatibility. Google extended them and did document their changes.

        3. The Jabber Inc product, Jabber XCP, is not and never has been Open Source.

        It's not even very good. It's less feature-complete and less scalable than eJabberd.

        4. There are 3 or 4 major OSS xmpp servers already, and several smaller ones (and none of these have been bought).

        Jabberd is unmaintained, Jabberd2 is a mess, OpenIM is probably okay but getting Java working on my server was too much effort for me to seriously evaluate it. eJabberd is a very nice piece of software though.

        • by makomk (752139)
          There's also djabberd, which is written in Perl and apparently scales well, but unfortunately it's rather lacking in features.
        • >1.

          true

          >4.

          OpenIM? I was thinking of OpenFire. Jabberd2 may be a mess, but I think it still counts as major. And it is a separate C++ codebase for Jabber that could be fixed up if anyone need to/wanted to.

          anyway there is a complete list here:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_XMPP_server_software [wikipedia.org]

          There are more than I thought.

      • when it is first? There were only about 20 comments total when I posted this.

        Remember that this is a threaded-format forum. The number of replies above this post has nothing to do with when my comment was posted.

        So your "already" statement is in error: they weren't "already" there.
        • I read the thread at several different times and I guess I missed your comment, because I didn't see it until my last pass over the thread. Sorry about that.

  • by hardaker (32597) on Friday September 19, 2008 @10:46PM (#25081743) Homepage
    ... But primarily because I misread Jabber as "Juniper".
  • Mr. T buys back Jibber to keep Cisco from monopoly.
  • Between acquiring WebEx, Postpath, and now Jabber, it looks like Cisco is priming themselves to challenge the major players in the unified enterprise collaboration space. Proprietary will continue to dominate FOSS in the enterprise for the foreseeable future - this is the reality of the situation.
  • Smart Move (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Spazmania (174582) on Saturday September 20, 2008 @02:40PM (#25086555) Homepage

    With a few tweaks to make it acceptable to the enterprise instant messaging market, Cisco has a very salable product. Companies have been trying to kill off the AIM and Yahoo IM clients for some time because of the security risk they pose. They haven't succeeded because the enterprise IM clients don't meet an appropriate standard of quality and don't interact with anybody else's IM product.

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

Working...