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A home for Ethernets

Microsoft is teaming up with a small networking equipment maker to bring big-system networking to home users.

Microsoft (MSFT) has teamed up with a small networking equipment maker to bring big-system networking to home users.

The company has signed a deal with Tut Systems, a Pleasant Hill, California-based maker of high-speed networking gear, to adapt Tut's HomeRun Ethernet system to serve as a hub for linking in-home Windows 95- and Windows 98-based PCs, non-PC devices, and peripherals to the Internet.

Tut's HomeRun uses in-home wiring to create an Ethernet network for computer systems, the company said.

The two companies said they will work with third-party manufacturers to build new consumer hardware and software that works with HomeRun. No further details were disclosed.

Tut said HomeRun creates a 1.3 megabit Ethernet network that uses existing telephone wiring, without disturbing normal phone service.

The company said HomeRun allows the distribution of high-speed data access, including DSL (Digital Subscriber Line), ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network), cable, satellite, and wireless digital loop carriers, to any existing telephone jack without additional in-home wiring.

The system can connect multiple devices across distances up to 500 feet, 200 feet greater than distances supported by typical 10Base-T Ethernet systems commonly found in businesses, according to the company.