Cisco has recently released a free beta of their Macintosh and Windows videoconferencing client software. It is called Cisco Jabber Video for Telepresence (Movi). It is available in a couple of flavors, but the free version automatically logs into a Cisco-provided registration server. There is also a version that works with existing Cisco/Tandberg gateway and management software.
Parsing the name, we get the following history and interpretation:
(acquired Tandberg, who had a version of the original Movi client)
(an open-source chat program, which was acquired by Cisco)
(Cisco’s name for their souped-up high-definition 720/1080 HD videoconferencing
– (original Tandberg name for the desktop software.
After fooling with this for a week, I’ve managed to make some point-to-point calls, with the following observations:
1. The Mac client simply crashes when it attempts access the built-in iSight camera on my vintage Macbook Pro (2008) or my iMac (2009-ish),both of which run the latest Mac OSX Lion. Other testers have reported that it works fine using Snow Leopard (i.e. the previous version of OSX). So, Mac testing is deferred for the moment.
2. The Windows version works fine with Windows 7, on several different platforms including a Dell laptop with built-in camera running Windows 7, and another Dell desktop and our DocBox running Windows Embedded XP with a Logitech Orbit camera.
3. As yet, I’ve not been able to successfully connect to our Codian MCU using either SIP or H.323. WTF?
4. The client will successfully negotiate firewalls.
So, depending on how you look at it, this is supposed to be a Skype competitor, if not a Skype killer. At the very least it is a sensible defensive measure to keep people from migrating from fairly expensive purpose-built V.C. units like the EX60 and EX90 to a laptop running Skype. The good news is that the quality of the audio and video with Jabber Video is outstanding. (But, Skype is scary good too…)