Supporting products such as Tablet PC with home networking gear could mean more to Microsoft in the long run than actual sales, analysts say. "Microsoft needs an infrastructure to tie all its product stuff together. This is laying the big pipes..the network infrastructure for the home," said Gartner analyst Mike McGuire. Computers connect over Wi-Fi networks without wires at speeds up to 11 megabits per second (mbps) at a maximum range of 300 feet. At retail, where the majority of Microsoft's Wi-Fi products would be sold, competition is fierce.
Linksys leads the overall retail wireless networking market by a huge margin, For the year to date, the company claimed 46.4 percent market share, as measured in dollars, according to starry night over the rhone by vincent van gogh iphone case NPDTechworld, D-Link trails a distant second with 14.6 percent share, followed by Belkin at 9.8 percent share, NetGear is ranked fourth with 7.9 percent market share and Siemens and SMC are tied for fifth place, each with 5.9 percent share, Microsoft's flagship wireless product will be the MN-500 Wireless Base Station, which also features a four-port 10/100 hub for connecting wired computers, The unit will sell for an estimated $150, Also on tap: The MN-510 Wireless USB Adapter and MN-520 PC Card adapter for notebooks, Both will sell for an estimated $80 each..
"The wireless stuff is a little bit high (in price)," Baker said. He used as example a NetGear wireless USB hub that sells for $50 after rebate at Best Buy or a similar Belkin model for $40 after rebate at CompUSA. Some retailers also were promoting a Belkin wireless base station for $100 and a comparable NetGear model for $120. Microsoft also will offer two wireless kits, both priced at $220. The MN-610 features a base station and USB adapter, while the MN-620 features a base station and PC Card notebook adapter.
McGuire described either kit, which would be unique among wireless networking products, "as a convenient package by reasonably well known brand name, That could be very starry night over the rhone by vincent van gogh iphone case powerful with consumers.", On the wired side, Microsoft's main product would be the MN-100 10/100 Ethernet Wired Base Station for $80, Three adapters also will be available: the MN-110 USB adapter for $30, the MN-120 PC Card notebook adapter for $40 and the $25 MN-130 PCI card adapter, The final product is the $40 MN-150 10/100 Ethernet 5-Port Switch..
For example, the MN-500 wireless hub can automatically detect Internet service provider (ISP) settings that a consumer would normally have to input manually. Once a standard feature on ISDN broadband routers, the "autodetect" function has not been widely adopted for either wireless or wired routers--an advantage Microsoft hopes to exploit. The setup process also takes advantage of Microsoft's knowledge of its own operating system to automatically configure a PC to use a wireless base station. Another setup feature involves the Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP), which is used to protect data transmitted over the wireless network. Most base stations support 40-bit and 128-bit WEP security, but not necessarily turn on the feature by default. This has led to a proliferation of wireless networks that anyone either for free Internet access or hacking.