Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
Microsoft

Microsoft To Make Wireless Networking Hardware 320

traskjd writes "Microsoft are looking to increase their strength in the hardware market with wireless and conventional networking hardware according to this story on cnet. Microsoft has always been slow at moving into the hardware market... could they be testing the waters for making things like switches and routers in the future? Lets hope not..." There's also a Reuters article. There was a story last year that mentioned Microsoft was working on Win-WiFi - 802.11b hardware that exported some of the processing to the CPU in much the same manner as a winmodem, and thus was cheaper to produce. These stories don't mention anything about that, so probably these are conventional 802.11b devices.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft To Make Wireless Networking Hardware

Comments Filter:
  • Wow (Score:5, Funny)

    by Phil the Canuck ( 208725 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @10:16AM (#4288462)
    Microsoft...entering...wireless...market...
    too...many...security...jokes...
    head...exploding...
  • Furture Windows Msg:

    "Sorry, you cannot use Explorer.exe at this time. The CPU's resources are being used to serve the WinWiFi router."
  • by ChronoZ ( 561096 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @10:18AM (#4288476)
    but usually Microsoft hardware isn't bad at all. I like their USB mice quite a bit, and their natural ergonomic keyboard is pretty cool. So as far as their hardware record, they've had a good reputation (IMHO).

    I'd predict that their wireless networking hardware may turn up to be a good quality product.
    • This might sound trollish, but I assure you its a sincere question:

      Did MS ever make its own hardware? Do they have their own in house hardware engineers? Or do they just integrate horizontally with the hardware market when they choose?
    • This may sound like a troll, but I am very ignorant about their "hardware," i.e. mice and keyboards. I had always assumed that they contracted that stuff out. Do they really make that stuff or is done out of house?

    • but usually Microsoft hardware isn't bad at all. I like their USB mice quite a bit, and their natural ergonomic keyboard is pretty cool. So as far as their hardware record, they've had a good reputation (IMHO).

      Do Microsoft actually make hardware? Or do they simply put their name on hardware someone else made?
    • Agreed. I have two of their USB gamePads and they are very nice and have held up well.. Haven't used any of their other stuff, though.
    • The few of you who are in your 30's or older might remember that Microsoft has sold hardware since 1980. I doubt they ever owned a manufacturing facility, but they do design it themselves and it's manufactured to their specifications.

      Remember the SoftCard [byte.com], a Z80 card that let you run CP/M on an Apple II?

      Microsoft mice have a great reputation and they're actually pretty innovative about them.

      • I'm surprised that the /. readership isn't better informed on the subject of Microsoft hardware ... their Sidewinders joysticks are/were the most rugged thing on the market, their mice are extremely reliable, and AFAIK, their keyboards are about the only ones that can still command $70-80 even in the discount stores.

        Rugged, reliable, accurate and VERY tolerant of abuse ... pity they're not as demanding of their software.

    • I agree. I've only used Microsoft Natural Keyboards for years now, and I've used a couple of their mouses (including my current optical mouse) and they are both great.
    • by blixel ( 158224 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @10:43AM (#4288701)
      but usually Microsoft hardware isn't bad at all. I like their USB mice quite a bit, and their natural ergonomic keyboard is pretty cool. So as far as their hardware record, they've had a good reputation (IMHO).

      1. Wireless networking equipment uses an encryption scheme known as WEP. If Microsoft jumps into this line of hardware, I gurantee you they will make "MS-WEP" [slashdot.org] which is virtually incompatible with standard WEP. Such was the case with CHAP and MS-CHAP. They do this because if their version of the encryption scheme becomes widely used, it will become the defacto standard and that just becomes one more element of computing that you have to pay Microsoft tax on. Granted WEP has it's problems, but come on... are you really going to trust Microsoft to get the security right? [slashdot.org]

      2. I highly doubt Microsoft makes their own Mice/Keyboard hardware. So if you want to give out props to someone, give it to the real manufacturer of their products, not to Microsoft. Microsoft just sticks their name on it for marketing reasons because their name is more likely to sell then if it said "Chuwing Yokung Inc."
      • I highly doubt Microsoft makes their own Mice/Keyboard hardware. So if you want to give out props to someone, give it to the real manufacturer of their products, not to Microsoft. Microsoft just sticks their name on it for marketing reasons because their name is more likely to sell then if it said "Chuwing Yokung Inc."

        That doesn't matter. What does matter are they are the ones that bring them to market. There aren't a whole lot of retail companies that manufacture their own stuff. But, who cares? Do you investigate every car part branded "Toyota" to see who manufactured it? What about stereo equipment? Hell.... anything bought retail. You may be aware that MS doesn't actually have their own manufacturing facilities, but you're woefull unaware that most retail products that you buy are done the same way. Whether MS manufactures them or not doesn't matter. The little hardware that they do sell is fantastic, and if that's any indicator, their wireless stuff will be great, too.

        Besides, wireless is still very, very niche. With MS marketing behind it, you'll see wireless everywhere in a matter of years, and you'll see pricing drop. I don't know about you, but I'm much more likely to buy a "MS Wireless" card, than a "ChunKing Wireless" card.
      • by Otterley ( 29945 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @11:42AM (#4289156)
        Actually, MS-CHAP is a rather interesting protocol, and its origin is best explained by expressing the limitations of CHAP in general.

        It's not that Microsoft had any burning desire to supplant CHAP with a fundamentally incompatible protocol for evil, monopoly-furthering reasons.

        Instead, they were attempting to deal with a limitation in that CHAP is unusuable if your passwords are stored encrypted on your system (i.e. CHAP can't be used to authenticate yourself when your credentials are in an /etc/passwd file).

        Microsoft stores its passwords in much the same way (encrypted on the server) and so they needed to develop a protocol that would send the passwords encrypted across the wire yet be usable to authenticate oneself against a SAM database -- hence the development of MS-CHAP.
    • Yes, their hardware is generally pretty good, but I try to buy Logitech input devices on principle.
    • Microsoft natural keyboard? It should be considered an insult to all coders that come from the days of borland text editors for pascal, c/c++ and turbo assembler. I use insert, delete, home, end, page up, page down and the arrow keys extensively while programming - there is no better way to do text selects, cuts, deletes, paste and moving around the screen. But those freaking keyboards have completely destroyed all borland advantage - the insert, delete, home, end, p.up, p.down keys are in 3 rows 2 cols instead of 2 rows 3 cols and the arrow keys are all screwed up.

      I have a theory this was done intentionnaly to force those used to borland typing to use mouse instead, thus forcing visual programming with their vb guis.
    • The only thing I have ever liked that bears the MS seal is the original SideWinder 6-Button gamepad (plugs into gameport). Works like a charm under Linux and it totally rocks for an old Genesis fan playing games under XMAME.
  • by The Slashdolt ( 518657 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @10:18AM (#4288480) Homepage
    Blue Sky Of Death. Those aren't clouds, they're core dumps and stack traces. I can see Fatal Exception right there next to the cloud that looks like Bill Gates giving you the middle finger.

    • Can anyone who is competent in Windows 2000/XP administration/setup honestly remember the last time they got a core dump? If I get one it's usually because of a shoddy (beta) video driver.

      Come on, find something valid to make fun of.
      • Yes, try plugging in 75 hard drives (5 JBODs) into a fibre channel HBA (emulex) and watch windows blue screen within about 10 seconds.
      • Yes...I get one about 1 a week. Random BSOD that don't seem to follow any particular pattern. I notice it slightly more occasionally when running WinMX then other applications, but not often enough to conclude it's the application. And I'm running your typical system, not 75 fibre channel drives like the other guy is.

        2K and 98SE never seemed to have any problems with the same setup.
      • 1. Don't try to upgrade a machine running in a remote area, ie. without a telephone or net access

        2. Try moving your windows code over to another platform

        3. 64 bit? What's a bit? Oh yeah... microserf: well, we can sorta kinda do 64 bit!

        4. Try running windows on some really huge hardware, ie. something not x86 or emulating it

        5. inverse of 4, ie. a pda or some such thing, without having to purchase an expensive xp embedded license or some such nonsense

        6. try stripping windows xp down to nothing but what you need to setup a masquerading router, running on a 486

        7. try administering 20 machines remotely, over a 56k modem

        8. try all of the above while spending less than $50

        9. Microsoft didn't disclose all of the windows api's? awww... too bad...

        10. windows is quickly becoming an anti-consumer operating system, instead of enabling users, it's going to intentionally limit users, doesn't sound too appealing to me...

      • happened two times today on a new dell laptop.
  • ... well maybe (Score:2, Insightful)

    but winmodems that used the CPU were a bloody disaster. I never saw one that worked right.

    Please, whoever makes these new things, leave the CPU alone.
    • Actually, there's a good number of them used in notebooks today that work just fine. I personally think Winmodems were a bit ahead of their time. When they came out back in the days of 486s and Pentiums, they would regularly use 40% of the CPU, leaving not much left for anything you want to run. These days with >1GHz machines being found almost everywhere, it doesn't take much CPU to use a Winmodem. That, combined with the hugely improved driver support of Win98/2K/XP (over DOS and 3.xx) makes all the difference.
    • My motorola winmodem works great under linux, but has a problem with the speaker under Windows. Odd, eh?
  • If you think wireless networking is easy as looking for the chalk marks now, just wait until MS style "security" becomes the standard!
    • What the hell is with you guys? Don't you know how to read the fungick article? Nokia wasn't calling warchalking a theft, the usage of the companie's wireless network for browsing the internet is what Nokia calls theft.
  • MS Hardware? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by FortKnox ( 169099 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @10:22AM (#4288514) Homepage Journal
    could they be testing the waters for making things like switches and routers in the future? Lets hope not.

    What is up with all the negative articles on MS Hardware?
    Take a look at your mouse! Have you ever used an MS Joystick?
    Sure, lots of you have complaints with MS's OS's. Some of you hate the whole "Major Corportation" thing.
    But, damnit, MS MAKES GOOD HARDWARE!
    I've used MS Mice, and MS Sidewinders for YEARS and they still work GREAT!
    • by inkfox ( 580440 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @10:50AM (#4288769) Homepage
      What is up with all the negative articles on MS Hardware? Take a look at your mouse! Have you ever used an MS Joystick? Sure, lots of you have complaints with MS's OS's. Some of you hate the whole "Major Corportation" thing. But, damnit, MS MAKES GOOD HARDWARE!
      I've said many a time that I look forward to the day when Microsoft is fondly remembered as "that rather nice mouse manufacturer."
    • Their joysticks suck bigtime. Their phones failed. Their USB speakers also failed in the marketplace.

      Back when I was a gamer, I bought the sidewinder to play descent1 on. It was virtually unplayable. The driver is what really sucked. If you hit the key to launch a missle for example, the driver would keep the botton on for several seconds depletting all your ammo. I had the same problem under duke nukem. The keys also stuck together occasionally so when rapid shooting was required, I could not shoot. Also Microsoft stopped supporting very quickly so if you have Windows2000 or XP, your screwed.

      If you think MS makes good keyboard and mice, then your probably never tried anything by logitech. They are a much better vendor in my opinion and I like the way they feel.

      Anyone who buys this new wireless network device might end up being quickly unsupported like their sidewinders, phones, and USB speakers if its not commercially sucessfull.
    • What do you expect on a pro-linux site when there's an MS article? About 99% of the comments are just jabs at MSFT that have been done hundreds of times by Linux zealots. Nope, that routine never gets old around here.

      As for MS hardware, I am most impressed with the IntelliMouse. I just wish(is there one already?) MS made drivers where you could have mouse "profiles". Currently, the thumb buttons only work for IE, where they would be great as undo/redo buttons in Photoshop, PSP, etc, or set 'em to what you like. I remember doing some tweak to turn the middle button(wheel button) on my Logitech mouse into a double-click action.

      As for their MS keyboard, I just got one in my cubicle, and wonder why there's a "stop" button(I'm assuming for IE). Escape, located less than an inch away from it functions just fine as "Stop". Back and Forward are redundant since you can just Alt+leftarrow & Alt+rightarrow. Hopefully with a bit of searching I can make the buttons do whatever I want, and I'll just relabel them.
      • To have the scroll wheel and thumb buttons work in applications that do not directly support them (like IE and Explorer), you need to download the InteliPoint software (just go to http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/ and browse around). You know it's running when you see a 'blue circle with a mouse in it' type icon in the icon tray.
    • Yes.. Microsft makes good mice joysticks etc.. but these devices are limited in their ability to be "used" by Microsoft, that's why you are seeing negativity.

      If the article was about an MS mouse it probably would have been very positive. I myself have two MS mice because I like them. However, I'm quite skeptical of MS hardware involving networks. MS has a long history of "using" whatever it can to manilpulate markets.. why should networking hardware be different.
    • What is up with all the negative articles on MS Hardware? Take a look at your mouse! Have you ever used an MS Joystick?

      I don't so much worry about the quality of the hardware (though I don't use it myself), if switches/routers/etc are as good as the reputation of their other hard stuff then there's no problems there. I think what bothers many people is the issue of trust - how much extra power it gives MS when it comes to who-uses-what. There's not much they could do with a mouse, but would MS network gear attempt to control what network traffic you do and don't see according to MS's wishes? Maybe, maybe not, but I think if there's any company to be suspicious of in intent, it's MS.

      a grrl & her server [danamania.com]
    • Re:MS Hardware? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by gosand ( 234100 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @11:50AM (#4289206)
      What is up with all the negative articles on MS Hardware? Take a look at your mouse! Have you ever used an MS Joystick? Sure, lots of you have complaints with MS's OS's. Some of you hate the whole "Major Corportation" thing. But, damnit, MS MAKES GOOD HARDWARE! I've used MS Mice, and MS Sidewinders for YEARS and they still work GREAT!

      Sorry, keyboards, mice, and joysticks don't control your data. Bottom line is I don't trust Microsoft - for very good reasons. They have continuously proved they are untrustworthy, before/during/after being found guilty of illegal monopolistic practices by the Department of Justice. I don't trust them - not because I am some zealot - but because they have proven over and over again that I have no reason to trust them.

      Yes, I use one of their mice, because
      a. it is a good product
      b. it doesn't have anything to do with security

      Microsoft sucks at security, they even admit that their products aren't engineered for security. Sure, that was in reference to their Operating Systems, but do you think they will suddenly see the light when it comes to hardware? Microsoft is crafty, they wouldn't be getting into networking hardware at this stage of the game just for the sake of doing it. There is a reason, and they are trying to weasel their way in to gain control. Period.

    • Ah yes, the wonderful MS Sidewinder joystick... that would be the one that comes with drivers specifically for Windows 2000 which DO NOT WORK with Windows 2000!

      Great product.

      Of course I'd trust my sensitive corporate R&D data to a Microsoft Switch, given their proven track record on security.
  • I can't wait (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Sp4c3 C4d3t ( 607082 )
    I don't trust anything wireless. Not even a wireless mouse. Sorry, I just like having cords... it makes me feel more secure. Microsoft + wireless is NOT a good idea. However, it might be a great way to show Joe Sixpack that MS products are not secure, when he gets hacked by the script kiddie across the street.
  • by teamhasnoi ( 554944 ) <teamhasnoi AT yahoo DOT com> on Thursday September 19, 2002 @10:27AM (#4288567) Homepage Journal
    When you buy a MS Wireless Router, it comes packed in powdered chalk.
  • Do you guys think this might tie in with the whole Palladium platform?
  • by Dutchmaan ( 442553 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @10:30AM (#4288599) Homepage
    I just can't believe Microsoft will be making hardware for people who warchalk..

    They must be thieves!

    For those who may be humor impaired, this post was tongue in cheek
  • by BurritoWarrior ( 90481 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @10:31AM (#4288609)
    New bookmarks:
    http://nouters.windowsupdate.com
    http ://security.microsoft.com/routers

    New Licensing:
    Your router subscription has expired. Would you like to pay another $79 dollars for the next 12 months?

    New Animation:
    Paperclip: Hi! I see your trying to access the internet. Can I help you?

    New Monitoring:
    We have deteted a P2P application running on your network. Your router has been disabled. Please call 1-800-RIAA-Pal to correct this.

    New Dialog boxes:
    You are using an inferior browser. Are you SURE you want to do this? [Yes] [No]
  • by MouseR ( 3264 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @10:34AM (#4288628) Homepage
    Given Palladium, one should expect MS to start making networking hardware.

    by producing hardware that refuses entry from any non-certified applications and hardware, they further secure their world (aka, pockets) within the constraints of their Palladium (money-making) scheme.
    • What a bunch of lies.

      What you said proves you have no knowledge of Palladium, encryption, or TCPA fundamentals.

      The whole point of Palladium, TCPA, etc is to allow untrusted components to handle "trusted" data.

      AN EXAMPLE: we dont need specially limited Ethernet cards to make it so that we can transmit secure data.. that is handled by higher level protocols like SSL or IPSEC.

      Likewise, with Palladium, you can "trust" the entire "secure" portion of the machine without modifying ANY exisiting hardware except for the security co-processor. Thats the entire point.

      • > What a bunch of lies.

        I think the more correct phrase is "What a bunch of speculation."

        It's not a lie unless you know it is false. Do you have any of this hardware? How do you know anything unless you do? Product specifications are liable to change without notice.
        • It's not a lie unless you know it is false. Do you have any of this hardware? How do you know anything unless you do? Product specifications are liable to change without notice.

          No, its a lie if nots even in the realm of possibility.

          Saying "in 2094 Mount Everest will rise up and smite down the Tibetans with Lightning bolts, fireballs, and little creamy pastries" is a lie.

          Sure, we don't know it wont happen, but it's outside the realm of possibilities, and spreading it like its truth makes you a liar.
      • If, as you say, you need a security co-processor, then how do you implement Palladium on existing hardware?
    • This is a GREAT conspiracy theory. No facts, but great! Bravo.
  • MS WiFi (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SamSpectre ( 412989 )
    It will probably be the first router, WiFi device that is not compatible with *ix, Mac, etc.
  • by tetrode ( 32267 )
    You will get a Clippy with every router, proposing you like "I notice that you are trying to add v.w.x.y, shall I also add a.b.c.d for you?". You answer no, but somehow, the configuration seems to be changed, but you cannot exactly see how...

    Also, you will get switches that you only edit via switchedit, a regedit decendant.

    Plus of course, all the bugs you can eat, as usual ...

    Of course, don't forget to add some 64 Mb of memory in your switch. Errm, yes that is per port, of course...

    And in addition to that, if you don't pay your license fees, your routers will cease to function after exactly one year!

    But wait, there is more! You can run a wordprocessor from your switches (upgrade required), and we even provided some games free of charge.

    Thanks, but no thanks - I'll stay with Cisco...

    Mark
  • Aren't all M$ hardware activities just low (zero?) cost ways of getting the name "Microsoft" written in as many places to do with computers as possible?

    Nothing to see here. Move along.
  • I wonder who they'll steal the design from for this product.
  • I think Microsoft have been experiencing a certain amount of frustation t the slow response of router manufacturers to such things as UPnP.

    Microsoft need UPnP to succeed if Messenger is to realise its full potential. They probably need it for other planned projects too. I imagine they're entering the market in order to drive adoption of these standards more quickly.

    I have an SMC Barricade 7004AWBR. I've been waiting an age for the firmware update that finally provides me with UPnP. It hasn't come. I rather suspect it may never come. For all the natty little plastic boxes, I honestly don't think the networking people are used to the speed of the consumer market. Microsoft certainly is, and I can see any routers it might produce being updated a lot faster than many of the current offerings.

    Cheers,
    Ian

  • This is just Microsoft's way of linking all the Borg Drones (aka Windows PCs) into the hive mind ^_^

    If you suddenly notice IE going to sites other than the one you wanted, don't worry: Your Drone's just been consulting with all the other Drones, and the consensus was you wanted to visit Microsoft.com rather than linux.org.

    On the plus side, this means new technologies will be assimilated much easier, and your PC will be able to repair itself using the power of the group mind.

    Maran
  • Very dangerous. (Score:5, Informative)

    by IGnatius T Foobar ( 4328 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @11:12AM (#4288955) Homepage Journal
    This isn't a mouse or a "natural keyboard" we're talking about here. This is stuff which requires actual drivers. Complicated drivers.

    Keep something in mind: when Microsoft released its previous generation of hardware (mice, keyboards, joysticks, etc.) they weren't thinking about Linux at the time. They felt confident that they owned the PC space. Nowadays, even though they still have the monopoly more or less intact, they do know that Linux is looking to break into that space, and has a better than fair chance of doing so.

    Microsoft needs to de-commoditize the PC platform.

    The best way to de-commoditize the PC platform is to turn it into the Windows PC Platform. Palladium is a big part of this, to be sure. Whatcha wanna bet that these new Win-Fi(tm) devices are going to tie into the Palladium infrastructure for security? And of course their chipsets will be full of Innovative Microsoft Patented Technology. Try to write a Linux driver... get smacked by the DMCA.

    Over the last year or two, some of the WinModem chipset makers have started to warm up to Linux -- by releasing specs or by writing actual drivers. You can be sure that if Microsoft is the chipset maker, the binary-only, Windows-only drivers will come directly out of Redmond.
    • and you will usually see the light, ie why Microsoft does project X or Y. In this case, IGnatius T Foobar has the same thoghts as I. Smaller, cheaper, faster, and more secure systems are turning up all over the place and they are not running Windows. By getting into the communications stream they are attempting to isolate those devices and isolated devices will give way to connected devices.

      Why do you think Microsoft is dragging their feet with Bluetooth? It's not all about it being not ready, that's never stopped them before. It's because Bluetooth works best with low power devices and Windows does not "do" low power devices. When was the last time you saw a Windows device running off 2 AAA batteries?

      The original Halloween document stated that they needed to control the protocols and this is not too far from it. It's what transmits/receives the protocols....

      This is dangerous folks, IMHO. Win-Fi costs can be quite low to the user because Microsoft is going to absorb the development costs using monopoly money. If every machine ships with Win-Fi onboard, with MS security protocols, our full fledged WiFi cards will be left out unless we pay the extra $$ for another access point too.

      It's dangerous if it works. IMHO.

      LoB
    • Microsoft started making mice in the mid-1980s mainly because it was a Windows 1.0 enabler. Over the years it's been the same basic tenet: sell cool hardware mainly to increase the attractiveness of Windows as a platform.

      BTW, the same goes for Intel, think about the non-processor things they've done. Most of them were related to improving speeds and feeds to make sure the CPU stayed the bottleneck and you'd get the next faster processor.

      I don't see this as a bad thing--yet. Most of the 802.11b stuff I've tried is a nightmare to set up with WEP, and sets itself up in insecure mode by default. I know Microsoft can do a better job with setup; perhaps they'll set an example that will get others to improve as well.

      Over time, any worthwhile product becomes commoditized. If Microsoft's wireless card is the next Microsoft Mouse then others will copy it. If it's the next Microsoft Phone [epinions.com] then they won't.
      • I think the problem is that these devices, while including WEP, will probably also include some other security "standard" [slashdot.org]. At first the WEP stuff may be easy to use (along with the PEAP stuff), but MS will judge how well it can nudge people toward PEAP as time goes on, making it the default, etc etc.

        Also, if they do make a "winmodem" style adapter, then that also ties into the monopoly more. I wouldn't mind any of this is the standards were open and freely implementable at the OS level (like any other hardware company would do), but these devices can work as a monopoly protector.

        It is something to consider. I already own 802.11b hardware, so it's not a big issue for me.
  • Does Microsoft properly document their hardware, or is the documentation, "How to install the Windows drivers."

    I'd never in a month of Sundays expect them to furnish Linux drivers, though maybe *BSD drivers in two weeks of Sundays. But does Microsoft properly document their hardware so the community can write its own drivers? I know people use MS keyboards and mice with Linux, but those had well entrenched standards. What about getting the extra bells and whistles working?

    How about shipping the documentation with a "You may not use this documentation to develop GPL-licensed drivers!" clause?
  • And if you want to 'share' a broadband uplink I'm almost sure they will figure out a way to embed licence control and DRM. Which is really the point anyway, isn't it?

  • Microsoft has always been slow at moving into the hardware market... could they be testing the waters for making things like switches and routers in the future?

    If Microsoft has been slow at entering into a market, it is because they wait for technology to be established, and then they improve on that technology. I don't think that they will be making switches and routers, because they can't really create an improved version of those products that consumers will notice.

    On the other hand, wireless technology is starting to become noticed by consumers and Microsoft wants people to associate their name with quality. Of course, it's 90% marketing and 10% actual quality. Look at the Microsoft Natural Keyboard, or the line of Microsoft mice. Sure, they didn't make them right away; they waited for their competitors to make the mistakes that they could then improve upon.

    Actually, this strategy could be used to describe pretty much all of their products. They're not the first to do something. Microsoft is very good at reinventing ideas and selling them to consumers.

    Just my opinion.

  • michael wrote:
    "...could they be testing the waters for making things like switches and routers in the future?"

    Uhh. Could they be seeing that (a) wireless is the Next Big Thing and (b) this is the perfect time to introduce DRM where others are hesitant to do so?

    This is a no-brainer given their history.
  • MS have gone on record as saying they want to secure home wireless networks, their solution for this is going to be PEAP, yet another variation on EAP (Extensible Authentication Protocol).

    This is a PIA, already we have the certificate based EAP-TLS (supported in XP & CE4.0), EAP-MD5, the Cisco LEAP (supported everywhere but only with a Cisco client card), 802.1x - now a standard but not supported in it's vanilla format anywhere much yet, etc.

    Guess what the cross platform support will be for PEAP ?

    I'm just glad Linksys and Dlink exist, because it's going to be difficult for MS to displace them in the market, and dominate with a non-standard product.

    These may also have a variation on uPnP, but I don't see how that will fit in with the security focus.
    Palladuim is miles off, look for that in the updated Christmas '03 product range.
  • Sine they use Cisco wlan equipment themselves on their corporate campus, in fact they have one of the largest wlan delpoyments ever. Maybe this is targeted at the home market? I would guess so based on the market analysis provided, they give Linksys a lead in the wlan space so it has to be the home market as Cisco is the leader in the corporate space.
  • ""There was a story last year that mentioned Microsoft was working on Win-WiFi - 802.11b hardware that exported some of the processing to the CPU in much the same manner as a winmodem, and thus was cheaper to produce.""

    To make use of a modern CPU on a desktop is really hard unless you compile or game. An even slower windows would be hard to do without deliberatly toss in loops into it. Intel and Microsoft lives on the upgradecycle and without it they would both be much smaller since you wouldnt buy a new computer every year, just new software like games etc. Right now i cant think of a single application that i use that can take advantage of my current 650 Mhz even. When i compile something bigger i do it over night.

    The only application that demands something faster than todays 2 Ghz is poorly written games. My solution would be to write them better but some people tends to think throwing more hardware on fautly code is an excellent solution.

    Microsoft needs to use all the cpu cycles it can and still perform good in benchmarks. This way of loading the processor with other tasks better done in hardware than in software fits their and Intel perfectly. Intel needs somthing that demands faster CPUs and Microsoft need new hardware that ships with their OS.
  • Great, now the embedded web server in my MS Access Point(TM) will be able to spread Nimda and Code Red to everyone within my WAP's range.

    This should be fun.

    -ted
  • They don't want to repeat this broad-band loss of control debacle with wireless.

    Organisms evolve intelligence by distributing cognitive processing ability. The brain of a flat worm is intrinsically different from the brain of an ant because an ant has legs. Our brain is different because we don't have as many legs and we have ideas.

    Microsoft wants to keep computers immobile, blind, deaf, dumb and stupid. Otherwise they lose control (of your pocket book.)

    So they move control up to the drivers on the CPU and keep it as the single point of failure.

    Performance does not degrade gracefully, systems can't adjust and adapt, and grow in capability so they ossify and fail the only way they can, catastrophically.

    A problem with the speed of response to the equivalent of a dial tone will cause your machine to crash in ways some unanticipated by the stellar genii who wrote the state machine.

    I'll stick to Macs OS X and Linux on x86s thanks.
  • Oh great, MS will push their CPU-based Win-WiFi devices, get the bundled with all the makers overwhich they exert control or pressure, and Linux will have all the grief we've had with WinModems, all over again in the networking world. This is a powerful anti-competitive move by MS, if they truly are winmodem-ish.
  • Isn't MicroSoft developing it's flavor of 802.11 called 802.11x

    It was suppose to ship with XP but they had other things to work on in XP.
  • I've seen the hardware. The home wireless network kit is a PC card, a USB adapter, an a router with 4-port switch (kind of like the Linksys BEFW11S4). The router is VERY small, but it's all really just standard stuff. The industrial design is very good and the software for it is pretty. It's not proprietary in any way, and actually looked really nice.
  • How long before we have a Slashdot story about how it's Microsoft's fault when someone steals credit card numbers from a business sending them unencrypted over a wide-open network.

    At least now we only have to read mainstream news stories about how it's the fault of the guy with the chalk.

  • Now, with a little help from our friends at Microsoft, 802.11b will be trully insecure.

    Can we see as an attempt from Microsoft to "open" their products?

    If they don't do OpenSource, will Microsoft achieve "Openness" through MS-Really Insecure Wireless?

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro..." -- Hunter S. Thompson

Working...