Do You Know Cisco?

The company whose routers rule the Web now wants to be in your house and on your mind

At this Westin Hotel Convention Center, just east of San Jose, Calif., a revival meeting is in progress. Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers, 50, struts across the stage wearing a gray tweed suit and preaching the gospel of the network to a packed, 8,000-strong congregation of the converted. We have made great strides, Chambers drawls in his West Virginian birch-beer-sweet voice, but we need to be ever vigilant, for around the corner, right outside this hall, lurks the enemy--Nortel, Lucent and start-up companies we've never heard of, jesters who would steal our cybercrown.

The audience, consisting of the truest of true...

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