Microsoft says bye-bye to Wi-Fi

Despite quickly becoming one of the leading sellers of wireless networking products, Microsoft has decided to discontinue its entire line of Wi-Fi gear, CNET News.com has learned.

Despite quickly becoming one of the leading sellers of wireless networking products, Microsoft has decided to discontinue its entire line of Wi-Fi gear, CNET News.com has learned.

A source close to the company said Microsoft entered the Wi-Fi field with hopes of "raising the bar" on security, ease-of-use and performance and now feels it has accomplished those goals.

Microsoft confirmed the move late Monday.

"After careful evaluation, the Microsoft hardware group has decided to scale back its broadband hardware and networking business," a representative said. "Instead, the plan is to apply the knowledge we have gained in that category to future products and services."

The move is a dramatic turnaround, considering the company just introduced a USB version of its 802.11g product in February and has


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only been in the market since September 2002. The company had quickly gained market share in the wireless networking market but lost some ground when it was slower than rivals in introducing 802.11g products.

Microsoft had a complete line of Wi-Fi products including base stations, laptop cards, and USB and PCI add-ons for desktop machines.

The software maker said its line of 802.11g gear will continue to be sold for the next several months. Some older 802.11b and wireless networking products may also be on store shelves.

The company said it will support the products through their two-year warranty but will not provide service beyond that.

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