Cisco buys Jabber - er, why?

I know the `old guard' of IT are struggling to keep up with the new kids on the block, but Cisco's announcement of its plans to buy Jabber, the multi-system Instant Messaging firm, has me baffled.

There's no profit in mainstream IM. I know this as a pal of mine worked at Reuters a few years back when the company got into secure business IM technology.

No-one pays for IM. No, I'll rephrase that - no-one needs to pay for IM.

They'll pay for IM security; witness the success of FaceTime and others. But the underlying service is inherently free, given the fact that Netters already pay for their broadband connection.

Jabber is a good idea, though, since it allows Instant messages between users of Google Talk, Yahoo Messenger, IBM Sametime and AOL's AIM platform, all from the same client application.

Cisco wants to integrate Jabber with its Webex and other online services. So what's to stop it licensing the technology and coding it up itself, rather than splashing out on a ready-made product?

Myself, I reckon it's more of a response to Adobe's acquisition of Antepo, another IM company, earlier in the month,

But then, what I do I know about such things...