Cisco Dev FAQ Offers More Info On the Cius Tablet

This document sent to potential software partners doesn’t tell much more about the Cisco Cius Tablet than we already know. However, it does show confirmed but limited availability in Q4 2010 as well as a sub $1,000 price confirmation. This bit is particularly interesting:

5) Why is Cisco Cius twice the price of an Apple iPad? Why should I purchase Cisco Cius versus just purchasing iPad’s instead?
Cisco Cius is not a consumer device so it’s not an equivalent comparison. Cisco Cius is the first-of-its- kind mobile collaboration device.

As we said before, the Cius isn’t a consumer device. It will act like a laptop in a board meeting and include a number of Cisco-branded communications systems under an Android wrapper. What is particularly interesting is that this means many Cisco services will be available in Android, a boon to those currently running Cisco installs at their place of work. Full FAQ after the jump:

Thanks, Tipster!

Top 20 Frequently Asked Questions – Cisco Cius – August 2010 version 1.4

1) What is Cisco Cius?
Cisco Cius is an innovative, secure mobile collaboration business tablet, designed for knowledge workers to the executive. With Cisco Cius, now casual-to-highly mobile employees have access to the very same desktop collaboration and communications experience wherever they are.
With Cisco Cius, employees benefit from on-and-off campus mobility, complete access to the suite of Cisco Collaboration applications, including Unified Communications and interoperability with the Cisco TelePresence solution for video conferencing.
In addition, Virtual Desktop Integration enables business applications to be hosted in the Data Center and delivered securely, reliably and on-demand, via the network to employees. Cisco Cius combines this Virtual Desktop Integration capability, with resident computing power that can support local processing of Android-based applications, thus enabling IT organizations to further consolidate devices at the desktop based on their IT objectives and their user preferences.
Finally, as an open source platform, Cisco Cius shall support the Android operating system. This enables employees to take advantage of business applications available from the Android Marketplace, while accounting for appropriate IT controls.

2) When will Cisco Cius be available?
Limited availability of Cisco Cius is expected to be CY Q4 2010 with general availability in calendar year Q1 2011.

3) What is the pricing for Cisco Cius?
Pricing is still be finalized at this time. With typical discounts applied, expectation would be that the Cius tablet would be available at under $1000 ($USD street price). Note that discounts may vary by Cisco reseller and thus, prices noted should be considered a guideline.

4) Does Cisco Cius require Cisco media servers to support its features and if so, what Cisco media servers are supported?
Yes. At time of Cisco Cius’ First Customer Shipment (FCS), Cisco Cius will register to Unified Communications Manager and Unified Communications Manager Business Edition and will require system release 8.5 available this fall, along with any appropriate media servers, to support the Unified Communications Manager and Unified Communications Manager Business Edition deployment.

5) Why is Cisco Cius twice the price of an Apple iPad? Why should I purchase Cisco Cius versus just purchasing iPad’s instead?
Cisco Cius is not a consumer device so it’s not an equivalent comparison. Cisco Cius is the first-of-its- kind mobile collaboration device. With Cius, casual and highly mobile employees benefit from a communications, collaboration and computing solution. Examples where Cius provides additional benefits over an iPad include:
• Cisco Unified Communications –employees get the same desktop business communications features with Cius, whether at their desk or mobile. Cius will leverage the best elements in user experience from both the IP Phone 9900 Series’ design and that of Cisco’s Client Services Framework (i.e. Cisco Unified Personal Communicator). In addition, Cisco will use its networking technology to provide the quality of service businesses expect.
• Cisco Collaboration – Interoperability with Cisco’s TelePresence solution is unique to Cisco Cius such that employees can participate in larger video conferences with a superior HD video experience. In addition, employees will benefit from Cisco Quad for virtual teaming, Cisco Show and Share for secure video sharing, Cisco WebEx for conferencing and real-time file exchange, Cisco Unified Presence and so many more. These are capabilities that consumer tablets do not offer.
• Virtual Desktop Integration – With Cisco Cius, support for a virtual desktop client will be provided day one. This provides an opportunity to consolidate devices at the desktop, while delivering full mobile access to employees, including Cloud Computing, where business applications are migrated to the Data Center. Combined with the local computing and storage capabilities of Cisco Cius, IT organizations now have the option to replace an employee’s PC, based on their strategic objectives and user preferences, to save additional money, in addition to centralizing administration.
• Security – At Cisco, we know security and with Cisco Cius, you benefit from full encrypted communications end-to-end voice and data networking. Protecting your most valuable asset – your intellectual property. Cisco Cius comes standard with Cisco AnyConnect VPN client for a secure connection wherever you are, media and signaling encryption, secure boot up to ensure only Cisco authorized software is installed and remote wipe applications in the event Cius is stolen or lost. Cisco Cius delivers enterprise class security, unlike consumer-based tablets today.
• IT Management – Cisco Cius is designed to support IT organizations need for a centrally provisioned and administered device. It will be administered, provisioned and managed from Cisco Unified Communications Manager.
For customers with existing investment in Apple iPad tablets today, note that Cisco offers Collaboration solutions which are supported on iPad to maximize the choice of the customer. One such example is Cisco WebEx for iPad. Cisco will continue to look for ways to interop with iPad and other mobile devices, independent of Cisco Cius introduction.

6) With the introduction of Cisco Cius, is Cisco entering the mobile phone market?
No. Cisco Cius will support 3G/4G data services only as the form factor is optimized to deliver a superior experience with business productivity, collaboration and web 2.0 applications that can take advantage of its larger display. We will not support cellular voice on GSM, CDMA networks.
Cius users, however, by using the Cisco AnyConnect VPN client, can take advantage of secure VoIP from the corporate network, running over the service provider’s 3G/4G data network.

7) Is Cisco Cius a Smartphone/Mobile Phone replacement?
No. Cisco Cius will support 3G/4G data services only. The larger display will provide a better browsing, collaboration and computing experience than typical smartphone devices. It is not intended as a smartphone/mobile phone replacement.
Cius users, however, by using the Cisco AnyConnect VPN client, can take advantage of secure VoIP from the corporate network, running over the service provider’s 3G/4G data network.

8) Who are the service providers that will support Cisco Cius 3G/4G data services?
We are in discussions with multiple service providers across the globe but are unable to make any public announcements around these discussions at this time.
Upon declaration of First Customer Shipment (FCS), we will offer a configuration with native 3G support on multiple service providers data service networks. 4G native services are currently on our roadmap for CY 2H 2011.

9) Will Cisco Cius support video over 3G / 4G?
Yes, but video will be best-effort on these networks.

10) Does announcement of the Cisco Cius signal that Cisco Unified IP Phones 9900 Series is going End-of-Sale?
No. The Cisco Unified IP Phones 9900 Series offers employees, who spend the vast majority of their time at their desks, access to high-quality (VGA) video. The IP Phones 9900 Series is a cost-effective, scalable portfolio which provides high-performance video communications.
Cisco Cius is designed for employees who can benefit from both desk and mobile communications. This can range from the casually or occasionally mobile to the actively mobile employee. In addition, while delivering full mobile access including Cloud Computing, Cisco Cius delivers applications-as-a- service on demand.
Cisco Cius shall be priced as a premier offer in the Cisco portfolio, given the breadth and depth of its features and capabilities.
As Cisco has noted previously in its communications, there is no one solution that fits every need. We’re empowering customers with an expanded portfolio to pick the endpoint(s) that best suit their needs. Introduction of Cisco Cius is in support of this strategy to provide additional endpoint options.

11) Do we intend to keep pace with the Android release cycle?
We will release on Android Froyo 2.2. We are committed to keeping up with the Android releases to enable new features and functionality. We intend to line up Android ongoing releases with our broader Cisco system releases to ensure system test, interoperability and compatibility with other Cisco products. This is yet another reason why Cisco Cius is a solution designed for business.

12) Is a Cisco Software Developer Kit (SDK) required to create applications for Cisco Cius?
Developers can use the Android SDK to create applications that will run on Cisco Cius. The Cisco SDK v1 will be published the end of September 2010 to allow customization of Android applications to be optimized for presentation on the display of Cisco Cius.
A second SDK (v2) will be published the end of November 2010 and include Cisco API’s for call and media control to further integrate Android business applications with the Cisco Cius user experience and collaboration applications.

13) Is Cisco going to contribute to the Android OpenSource community?
We will be participating members of the Open Handset Alliance (OHA) and intend to contribute to the community. Agreements to join the OHA are in process now.

14) Are there security concerns with Android 3rd party applications?
For IT organizations concerned about applications their users may download that could possibly compromise security, Cisco Cius will provide the option to restrict user access to the Android
Marketplace. In this scenario, IT Administrators could download acceptable applications and provision them through Cisco Unified Communications Manager by establishing a device profile for Cisco Cius.

15) With Cisco Cius, is Cisco partnering with Google?
Android is an open source operating system now owned by the Open Handset Alliance. Android is projected by various industry experts to become the market leader for Mobile device operating systems.
By moving to an open platform such as Android OS, Cisco Cius can take advantage of the latest processing technology, ensuring optimal performance, with very little impact on the operating system and your users.

16) What Cisco applications will be available on Cisco Cius when it is released?
Cisco Collaboration applications, including Cisco Unified Communications, that are targeted for support at time of FCS including: • Cisco WebEx • Instant Messaging
• Cisco Unified Presence • Cisco WebEx Mail • Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client • Cisco Quad • Cisco Show and Share • Cisco Unity Connection
Additional applications: • Virtual Desktop Client • Android Web Browser (WebKit) • Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client • Access to third-party applications from Android Marketplace

17) Will Cisco Cius allow me to replace any of the multiple devices I use today?
The device(s) replaced depend on user preference, their use case scenarios and their specific role in the organization. In addition, IT may find device consolidation opportunities based on their virtual desktop integration/cloud computing strategies and TCO reduction goals.

18) Is Cisco Cius intended as a PC alternative?
It could be. For customers who adopt cloud computing, Cisco Cius supports a Virtual Desktop Client. This enables migration of business applications to the Data Center in a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. Similar to a PC, applications access is secure and available to employees anywhere, anytime. This Cloud Computing approach allows IT administration costs to be reduced. Cisco Cius allows IT organizations to migrate away from PC’s at their own pace.
Note also that Cisco Cius has resident processing capability along with local storage support. As the support for Android-based applications grows, the ability to leverage the computer power of Cius, independent of Virtual Desktop Integration and Cloud Computing, shall also continue to expand.

19) Can I replace the battery of a Cisco Cius tablet?
Yes. Cisco Cius offers a battery that is both detachable and serviceable. As to anticipated battery life without need for a charge, we will make available actual performance numbers upon validation through customer trials.

20) Who are you partnering with to deliver Cisco Cius?
We are partnering with a number of vendors to deliver Cisco Cius including the Open Handset Alliance (OHA) which oversees management of the Android OS.