Microsoft, today launched it's long-awaited new collection of broadband home-networking hardware line, dubbed 'Microsoft Broadband Networking", designed to let users quickly and easily share broadband Internet connections and create wired or wireless home networks.
The line includes wired and wireless base stations, USB network adapters, PC-card-based notebook adapters, a 5-port switch, and a PCI-based wired Ethernet adapter.
The company is also selling two kits - the Wireless Desktop Kit and the Wireless Laptop kit, that will combine the wireless base stations with appropriate wireless networking adapters to create a complete wireless home-network solution.
As Lisa Brummel, corporate vice president for the Microsoft Home Products Division, says "The process of setting up a wireless network has simply been too complex for the people looking to share their broadband Internet connection. Our primary goal in creating these products was to help enable the scenarios that people see as important to their lives. This means giving users the freedom they need to access their information at any time and on any device". Microsoft hope that with a simple, consistent software setup will differentiates the new Microsoft products from other vendors' hardware.
With security strong on Microsoft's mind, the new Broadband Networking products also provide relatively secure default settings, with Wired Equivalency Privacy (WEP) and a built-in hardware firewall on the base stations. Finishing off the features is support for Universal Plug and Play (UPnP), which Microsoft says keeps intruders out and lets users play multiplayer games and conduct video and voice conversations over the Internet from any networked PC in the house.
News source: WinInformant