Cisco buys Jabber for instant messaging

Heightens rivalry with Microsoft in collaboration market

Cisco Systems Inc. said today it plans to buy instant-messaging platform vendor Jabber Inc., a move that could heighten its battle with Microsoft Corp. in the collaboration and office communications market.

Terms of the deal, which is expected to be completed in the first half of Cisco's 2009 fiscal year, were not disclosed.

Jabber, which is based in Denver, has developed a "carrier-class" platform based on open standards that can work across multiple messaging systems, such as AOL Instant Messenger, Google Talk, Yahoo Messenger and Office Communications Server.

Cisco intends to use Jabber's technology to become "the interoperability benchmark in the collaboration space," Cisco senior vice president Doug Dennerline said in a statement.

The pending Jabber deal comes just a few weeks after Cisco took another shot across Microsoft's bow by announcing plans to buy PostPath, maker of e-mail and calendaring software.

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