Logitech acquires video chat service Sightspeed

Surprised to see a press release from Logitech pop in my inbox this evening announcing it has acquired video-chat service SightSpeed for $30 million in cash. Not a bad deal for Logitech and the company says it will have no material impact on earnings (guess they dug the cash out of the couch cushions.) SightSpeed was one of the first to market with a good chat application that combined the familiar buddy list interface with good quality video, even on slower connections. Seeing the technology led to the "ah ha" moment for me, to believing we had finally turned the corner to true desktop video conferencing/chat. Before, it seemed to complicated (NetMeeting) or expensive (proprietary desktop systems). Unfortunately, other vendors caught up quickly and began offering similar services for less money or even free (see Skype Video). Originally, SightSpeed was priced at about $4.95 a month with unlimited calling. For Logitech, this seems to make sense. They can bundle in the SightSpeed technology with their cameras, giving them a potential leg up on new customers since the software will be installed with the camera drivers. Plus, $30 million isn't much of a risk for them, so it is worth taking.

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