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Microsoft plans Wi-Fi enhancements for Windows

Users of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows XP operating system will soon be able to take advantage of a new software enhancement that the U.S. software company claims will offer faster, easier and more secure access to broadband wireless networks. With its new Wireless Provisioning Services (WPS) technology, Microsoft aims at helping not only business and private users connect to Wi-Fi hotspots more easily and securely, but also telecommunication operators provision and manage these networks more simply and cost-efficiently, Microsoft said Sunday in a statement released at the Telecom World 2003 conference and exhibition in Geneva. The event is organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), an arm of the United Nations (UN).

WPS technology consists of two components: server software used by telecommunication service providers in the backend; and client server installed on notebooks or other mobile devices, according to Shai Guday, group program manager of wireless and mobility at Microsoft. On the server side, the technology will be included in the first service pack for Windows Server 2003, expected in the first quarter of 2004, he said. On the client side, it will be available as a downloadable upgrade for both Windows XP Professional and Home, as early as the fourth quarter, he said. "We already have an internal beta version of Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 available, so operators can begin testing this right away," Guday said. "The same applies for the client side."

News source: InfoWorld

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