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N+I Adds Up To Growth

This year's NetWorld + Interop show saw a networking industry riding peaks in several areas. The show, itself, featured the new era in networking: Wi-Fi networks proliferating to a degree never seen before at a major trade convention. Even though Microsoft surprised people with its decision to get out of the Wi-Fi hardware business, expect that area to continue to grow unabated.

More important, though, were the new initiatives from the show, which revolved mainly around two areas -- IP-based networking, with a good dose of Gigabit Ethernet in the mix -- and rich-media convergence networking that will feature a mix of data, voice, and video in the enterprise. The two are hardly unrelated: VoIP services will continue to gain prominence in enterprise environments, and MCI's CEO Michael Capellas said he foresees a future in which operating systems and the telephony system are completely intermingled.

Another show theme was the industry's continued targeting of Cisco: Smaller vendors are trying to compete on price and features with the networking giant in such areas as switches, routers, and security features. Good luck. Cisco reported a stompingly good quarter on Tuesday, and it plans to hire as many as 1,000 new workers, most to be located in the United States. It would seem that the networking industry is more robust for some companies than others.

MCI's Capellas Sees All-IP Future

The future of computing and telecom is converging on an IP layer, including the rapidly increasing use of rich data, such as voice and streaming video, said MCI's CEO Michael Capellas.

Nortel, Polycom Give Voice to Videoconferencing

Through the pact, the companies plan to develop fully interoperable multipoint video capabilities that will enable Polycom systems to tap into Nortel telephony features.

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