I heard about this on the morning news and then read Arrington's take on it. This was my comment there:
Simple: Cisco is buying a channel for its TelePresence system.I later clarified more:
It is all about hardware and displays.
Sorry…it’s all about Cisco harware and their HD TelePresence displays. Once you’ve used their TelePresence system you’ll understand. It is like using broadband for the first time…once you’ve tasted speed, you don’t want to go back to dial-up.
We will soon all have HD displays in our living rooms. Cisco already owns a good chunk of the set-top market with their acquisition of Scientific-Atlanta. Throw a camera in that and voila…a home-basedTelePresence system (a few years away yes…as the home broadband speeds are not yet up to snuff).
The WebEx acquisition simply gives Cisco more sales inroads into companies that desire a better experience.
[Update: Cool! BusinessWeek's blog, "The Tech Beat", has listed my TelePresence channel strategy idea as a possible reason.]