How’d you like to do high resolution video calls through your high definition TV? How’d you like to spend way, way, way too much for the privelege? Then hustle out right now and buy yourself a Cisco ūmi.

Not interested? No kidding.

Five months ago, Cisco introduced the ūmi. As I told you then, the $600 price tag for the ūmi hardware plus $25 monthly fee to use ūmi would have made no sense even if the your Internet connection could manage the bandwidth necessary to support 1080P video calls over ūmi. Here in the USA, almost nobody’s can.

Cisco has responded. There a new version of the ūmi that runs at 720P, making the bandwidth you need to place calls more likely to happen. And sadly, that’s the good news!

The new ūmi costs $400. Service has been dropped to $10 per month. And my question hasn’t changed: Who’s going to buy an ūmi? You can do video conferencing for free using software like Skype. ūmi is a product without a market.

Oh sure, in theory the fact that Cisco, a leader in the networking market, is running your video through their servers and at least theoretically providing “better” bandwidth has a theoretical appeal. But that’s too much “theory” for too little return. ūmi just doesn’t make sense.

ūmi doomie don’t. Still. Probably forever. You don’t think that Cisco believes misspelling YOU/ME will make ūmi matter, do you?
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