Partners ... and competitors

GCN tech brief | Microsoft and Cisco Systems will cooperate to ensure their products will work together

With all due respect: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Cisco CEO John Chambers look to compete respectfully, recognizing that customers want their products to work together.

Microsoft and Cisco Systems have announced that they will cooperate to ensure their products will work together even as they compete in other areas. The unusual announcement was apparently an attempt to reassure customers concerned about the impact of recent acquisitions that underscore the companies' rivalry. At the joint news conference Aug. 20, Microsoft's chief executive officer, Steve Ballmer, said customers are saying they don't want to have to make an all-or-nothing choice between the companies' products. He added that he sought respectful competition with Cisco.

http://www.microsoft.com, http://www.cisco.com

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