Nortel, Microsoft IM Each Other

Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer and Nortel’s Mike Zafirovski are an interesting pair. They’re both tasked with revitalizing companies and bringing innovation to their institutions and have faced significant hurdles in recent months.

The companies are holding a joint press conference to announce a partnership and outline their plans for communications like VoIP and IM or what they like to describe as “unified communications.” Is it really a big deal? Who knows, for both companies are looking desperately for good news.

Beleaguered Nortel has far more troubles than even Microsoft and its EU fine–I spoke with Mike Zafirovski earlier this year and he described his mental state as “forceful optimism.” Nortel’s stock is just above $2 today, but rose in recent trading this morning. Nortel will likely benefit from the team, as the company needs more business software deals. But we’ll just have to wait and see how much of an upside Microsoft will get.

Update#2: The details of the joint annoucement are here. Still not clear what these two companies will do together, and hard to decipher the pr-speak.

Alec says, “public cloud presence plays, like Tello, are going to come under pressure as a result. For now, the alliance‚Äôs focus on enterprise and carrier means that there is plenty of room to innovate, even though the stakes have just become higher.” Also, this cannot be good news for Cisco and Avaya. (Any thoughts?)

Update: Nortel exec Richard Lowe also wrote this story on the differences between WiFi and 3G, while Wi-Fi Networking News’ Glenn Fleishman takes it down a notch. The title says it all: “Nortel Exec Pens Bizarro World Column on Google WiFi.”