Looking ahead, what the companies do with tablets, PCs and phones may matter more than high-profile systems like the Halo platform that Polycom will acquire, Wainhouse's Davis said. The growth of high-end videoconferencing revenue is likely to be flat over the next few years, and Halo was showing its age, he said. In that sense, the partnership on WebOS might be more significant.
"Fundamentally, this market is going to shift downward," Davis said. "It's going to shift down to the personal space," driving down revenue for vendors but significantly expanding the number of users.
Wednesday's news coincided with Polycom's forming a consortium of service providers, the Open Visual Communications Consortium, for easier videoconferencing across different carrier networks and brands of video gear, Polycom's Miller said. If the OVCC helps to expand the use of videoconferencing, it will help Polycom and HP's business, he said.