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Cisco updates IP phone capabilities

Desktops can be tied to smartphones and tablets; Company celebrates sale of 50 million IP phones, 20 million more than two years ago

Cisco Wednesday announced Wednesday that it has sold its 50 millionth IP phone, up from 30 million sold through just two years ago.

The switching giant today also said it will make software for presence, instant messaging and Cisco Jabber IM clients available for free to its Unified Communications Manager customers.

The latter move means organizations with UCM can roll out presence and IM to employees simply and cheaply to smartphones and tablets running various operating systems, Barry O'Sullivan, senior vice president of Cisco's voice technology group, said in a blog post.

The supported OSs include Windows, Mac, iPad, Cisco Cius, iPhone, BlackBerry and, later in 2012, Android, O'Sullivan said.

The move helps companies "deploy a unified communications client that is BYOD-ready," he added. BYOD refers to Bring Your Own Device, a trend where companies allow workers to use devices of their choosing to connect to company data wirelessly.

O'Sullivan noted that desktop phones are still popular because of voice quality and other features, and because companies can add software that connects the desktop phone number to a smartphone or tablet when in the field.

Jabber software can be used to move beyond text IM to videoconferencing from a mobile device as well.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is [email protected].

Read more about mobile and wireless in Computerworld's Mobile and Wireless Topic Center.


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