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Microsoft Prepares Home Network Hardware

Techstination feature for Thursday, July 18, 2002

A new product category for Microsoft... home networks. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. With a big push for its new Tablet PC operating system on the horizon this year... .Microsoft is about to get into the business of selling the equipment to make wireless home networks work. Product manager Todd Greenberg tells us...

"When we're looking at the target audience, we're looking at broadband penetration and multi-PC households. Those are really the people that see the benefit of sharing your broadband to multiple computers. So we're approaching about fifteen million broadband households in the U.S. today and we're approaching about seventeen million multi-PC households, so if you look at the intersection of those two, those are the potential customers that might need a product like this."

But with companies like Linksys, Actiontec, Netgear, Intel and 3com already selling wired and wireless networking equipment... .why is there a need for Microsoft to do it too? The product manager argues...

"Well we really want to make this as easy as possible. We did a lot of consumer research with the products out there today and some of them are more difficult to set up than others and people really had a problem setting up their home network. So we wanted to make this as easy as possible. When you look around the room here, you'll see a lot of devices that go into the home and we wanted to really enable that infrastructure for the connected home."

No surprise. The competition may not be welcome news for Microsoft's competitors. Actiontec and Netgear have both announced revamped product lines focusing on ease of use. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.