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Microsoft Unveils Home Networking Hardware

Microsoft introduced 10 wireless and Ethernet products this month, officially ushering the software giant into the home networking category.

Microsoft is positioning the products as simple to set up. Most of the process takes place automatically with the device first detecting a computer’s ISP and modem setting and then properly configuring the network. The products are based on the wireless 802.11b specification and are available in notebook and desktop kits or can be purchased individually.

The rollout includes:

  • The Wireless Base Station, suggested retail price $149
  • The Wireless USB Adapter, $79
  • Wireless Notebook Adapter, $79
  • Wireless Desktop Kit comprised of a Base station and USB adapter, $219
  • Wireless Notebook Kit comprised of a Base Station and Notebook adapter, $219
  • 10/100 Ethernet USB Adapter, $29
  • 10/100 Ethernet Notebook Adapter, $39
  • 10/100 Ethernet PCI Adapter, $24
  • 10/100 Ethernet five-port switch, $39

The products are expected to ship later this year, however, Microsoft declined to be more specific. The company was also reticent about releasing any additional product details.

Randy Singer, general manager of Microsoft’s hardware division, did say that the 802.11b format was chosen due to its low cost and general availability in the market.