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Europeans are Demanding More Open Video Calling

As video calling usage increases, 81 percent of Europeans say that they now see it as personally important for them that these communications technologies work together, according to the findings from a recent market study.

In a clear signal to the video communications industry, 86 percent want companies to agree to a common standard so that software and devices -- including popular video calling apps like Skype, Facetime, and Google Chat -- are able to communicate with one another.

Unfortunately, that is still not the case in video calling, as opposed to speaking on the phone or exchanging emails, where interoperability is already the norm.

Europeans appear to have a very healthy appetite for video communications. In a survey of 1873 consumers, conducted on behalf of Cisco Systems, nearly 40 percent of those who use video calling said they will use it more often in the next twelve months, whereas only 4 percent expect to use it less often.

Growing Applications for Video Calling

What particularly attracts people to video calling is that it allows them to talk face-to-face with friends and family across the world. However, they are just as enthusiastic -- and sometimes even more so -- about possible applications of video calling technology in areas such as healthcare, education, and in the workplace.

Of those surveyed, 80 percent see video calling as an important way for patients in distant rural areas to talk face-to-face to medical specialists in cities without travelling, while 69 percent believe the technology has an important role in enabling teachers and other educators to hold live lectures and classes by video calling and to interact with students in real-time.

However, survey respondents are even clearer in pointing out that they want multiple devices or programs made by different companies to be able to communicate with one another.

Of those surveyed, 81 percent indicate such communication to be extremely important to their use of video, an unambiguous indication that people have little tolerance for potential glitches caused by a lack of interoperability.

Given the size of its market share in particular, 78 percent of respondents believe that Microsoft should open its Skype video platform. Moreover, 72 percent deem Microsoft's decision not to make Skype interoperable to be unfair to its users.

Key Highlights from the Video Calling Survey
  • 85 percent of respondents want companies to agree to a common standard for video calling so programs work together.
  • 84 percent believe that video calling should be as easy as making a phone call.
  • 79 percent want Skype to be interoperable with other video technologies.

This survey was conducted by Purple Strategies and based on 1873 telephone interviews. For additional details on related trends, view an infographic that outlines business leader thoughts about in-person and online video meetings.