Microsoft Galvanizes Industry Effort For Secure Wireless And Wired Local Area Networks

ANAHEIM, Calif., March 26, 2001 — Today at the Windows (r) Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) 2001, Microsoft Corp. announced plans to support the emerging IEEE 802.1x local area networks and security standard in its technologies. In addition, several leading manufacturers and service providers also voiced their support for the standard (see attached quote sheet). Built-in support for the emerging IEEE 802.1x standard will enable easy deployment of secure networks in the enterprise, home and public places. This is especially beneficial to public network access providers and the users of WiFi wireless LANs (802.11), enabling easy, automatic and secure connectivity any time, any place using PCs, laptops or other smart devices.

Microsoft also announced support for IEEE 802.1x in the Microsoft (r) Windows (r) XP operating system, which reached another significant milestone today when the beta 2 version was delivered to tens of thousands of beta testers. Support for the standard is part of the beta version. IEEE 802.1x support in Windows XP will enable automatic configuration, greater security and more flexibility for people on the go.

“With support for IEEE 802.1x in Windows XP, secure, high-bandwidth global roaming is now possible for all kinds of mobile users, from families on vacation to the casual remote worker to the corporate road warrior,” said Jawad Khaki, vice president of Windows Networking and Communications at Microsoft Corp. “Microsoft has done some tremendous work in building features in XP that make the IEEE 802.1x wireless world come alive.”

Wireless Networks Take Off

Interest in high-speed wireless LANs has grown, thus enabling unprecedented levels of mobile flexibility for enterprise users and no-new-wires home networking alternatives for consumers. Nonetheless, one of the issues of concern to anyone using wireless computing is ensuring that data is well-protected and secure. In addition, current wireless solutions sometimes plague users with authentication or other challenges when they roam with laptops or smart devices from their internal networks to other corporate networks, public access “hot spots” or their home networks.

Microsoft, along with Cisco Systems Inc., 3Com Corp., Agere Systems (formerly the Microelectronics Group of Lucent Technologies Inc.), Compaq Computer Corp., Dell Computer Corp., Wayport Inc. and other industry leaders (see attached quote sheet) initiated an effort to address these issues, leading to the creation of the IEEE 802.1x standard. The IEEE 802.1x standard enables enterprise-scale deployment of secure wireless and wired networks by defining ways for user identification, centralized authentication and dynamic key management to work across products made by different manufacturers. In addition, by enabling per-session keys as well as periodic reauthentication, organizations can prevent keys from getting stale, further enhancing security.

Wireless Support in Windows XP

Significantly improved wireless experience is standard in Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Professional, the new Windows software with a brand-new look for home and business, due out in the second half of 2001. Windows XP is built on an enhanced Windows 2000 engine and enables exciting new experiences, giving users the freedom to unlock the possibilities of the digital world.

A number of wireless features in Windows XP dramatically simplify customers’ roaming experience. Wireless LAN detection and zero configuration enables Windows to automatically determine the best wireless LAN settings for the user. Enhanced security features allow a user to seamlessly roam among different locations and securely access the network. For example, a busy executive could use her Windows XP Professional laptop to easily roam from the office to conference rooms at work while remaining online the entire time. She could then leave work and log on to high-speed Internet access at the airport, coffeehouse or anywhere this type of service is provided, and her Windows XP Professional-based laptop will automatically detect the network and use the correct configuration for it. The zero configuration feature, combined with high-bandwidth access, makes it not only possible but easy to collaborate on applications in real time, conduct a video conference or access large files from a remote PC or network.

Corporate Deployment

This standard builds on existing standards and integrates well with widely deployed management and accounting tools, such as RADIUS, Kerberos and LDAP-based directories so organizations deploy faster and easier. Microsoft also previously announced plans to make IEEE 802.1x support available for Windows 2000 so customers using this widespread business operating system will also be able to take advantage of IEEE 802.1x benefits.

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Microsoft and Other Industry Leaders Pledge Support for 802.1x

Quote Sheet


March 2001

3Com Corp.

Tom Werner, Vice President and General Manager

Business Connectivity Group

“3Com has worked very closely with Microsoft on developing the 802.1x standard and we are excited that Microsoft has adopted it as the Wireless Security standard in Windows XP. The 802.1x standard provides wireless users with a simple and secure form of authentication and authorization that complement 3Com’s current security solutions.”

Agere Systems (formerly the Microelectronics Group of Lucent Technologies Inc.)

Angela Champness, Director, Product and Business Management for ORiNOCO

“Agere Systems’ ORiNOCO fully supports Microsoft’s implementation of 802.1x in Windows (r) XP. We believe this will make installation and configuration of Wi-Fi wireless LAN products easier for the end user, which is good news for the industry as a whole.”

AirWave

Avery More, CEO

“Working with Microsoft, AirWave continues its commitment to enriching our subscribers’ high-speed wireless Internet experience. AirWave is migrating to the next generation of wireless security, provider integration, and seamless roaming based on the proposed 802.1x standard.”

Cisco Systems Inc.

Bill Rossi, Vice President, Wireless Networking Business Unit

“As a result of the collaboration between Cisco and Microsoft and our joint development of the 802.1x/EAP standard, enterprises can now deploy a secure, reliable and cost-effective, high-speed wireless networking solution that combines the Cisco infrastructure with Microsoft Windows XP. This wireless networking security architecture, in use on the Cisco Aironet wireless infrastructure deployed across the Microsoft campus, is the first implementation of the 802.1x draft security standard shipping today, and delivers the complete, end-to-end wireless security that will drive the digital renaissance that Microsoft’s wireless strategy prescribes.”

Compaq Computer Corp.

Jerry Meerkatz, Vice President and General Manager, Wireless Internet Development Office

“At Compaq, we have long believed that the economies and speed of 802.1x wireless LANs makes them compelling for both consumer and enterprise customers alike. By making 802.1x easy to use and administer with Windows XP, we believe that today an important milestone has been reached. Compaq’s ‘Edge of the Network’ vision, along with Microsoft .NET technologies, continues to drive the industry toward ubiquitous, high-speed, wireless connectivity for the ‘stateless’ user.”

Dell Computer Corp.

Tim Peters, Vice President and General Manager, Dell Latitude notebooks

“Customers tell us the future of wireless lies primarily in notebook computers because they can provide the freedom and flexibility of anywhere, anytime connectivity to the Internet or intranet. Combining that mobility with a variety of notebook form factors can lead to higher productivity as end users are not only viewing content, but creating it too. Dell worked closely with Microsoft so that customers using Windows XP on wireless-enabled LatitudeTM and InspironTM notebooks have the capability to roam seamlessly between the office and hotspots, such as airports, hotels and home, quickly and automatically resuming secure connections to high-speed wireless networks, and staying in touch.”

Enterasys Networks Inc.

John Roese, Chief Technology Officer

“By supporting 802.1x in its Windows XP platform, Microsoft gives itself a strong competitive edge in the wireless marketplace. Authentication is a key element for enforcing security and business-based policies throughout a network environment, and 802.1x allows us to truly deliver the benefits of authentication to our customers. As a vendor of wireless and wired LAN products, Enterasys Networks strongly supports Microsoft’s 802.1x initiative and its overall wireless strategy.”

Hewlett-Packard Co.

Alex Thatcher, Wireless Solutions Product Manager

“Microsoft’s strategy of including 802.1x into Windows XP helps HP deliver simple, secure wireless mobility to our customers. Integrating this open standard into the operating system will allow HP customers to build wireless infrastructures with improved manageability and greater security.”

Intel Corp.

Stephen Saltzman, General Manager, Wireless LAN Operation

“As wireless networking grows in popularity, customers need to know that confidential information remains private, even as it travels through the air. By working together, the leading companies in this industry have developed a standards-based approach to security that helps protect data without sacrificing the flexibility afforded by wireless mobility.”

IBM Corp.

Peter D. Hortensius, Vice President of Mobile Product Development

Personal Computing Division

“Wireless communications technologies are key to giving our customers the freedom to take full advantage of their mobile platforms. IBM proved its commitment to these technologies with last year’s shipment of the IBMThinkPad as the first Windows notebook with integrated, Wi-Fi certified, IEEE 802.11b Wireless LAN. IEEE 802.1x security is essential for secure, enterprisewide deployment and combined with the usability features, like those being added to Windows XP, will greatly improve the wireless experience.”

Intersil Corp .

Dave Landeta, Director of Engineering, PRISM Wireless Products Business

“It’s significant that Microsoft will support 802.1x features in its new Windows XP operating system because this will greatly improve the experience for wireless users. Intersil supports 802.1x, and we will support Microsoft’s efforts by developing WHQL-certified PRISM Reference Designs for Windows XP.”

Symbol Technologies Inc.

Chuck Hudson, Vice President, Wireless Product Marketing

“Symbol applauds Microsoft’s leadership in this wireless LAN security effort. We think 802.1x combines the best security mechanisms to form a robust architecture that satisfies security concerns for both wired and wireless networks and allows Windows XP clients secure access to Symbol’s Spectrum24 wireless LANs. The 802.1X standard builds on existing standards and integrates well with Symbol’s implementation of Kerberos Version 5.0 to provide seamless and secure mobility to wireless Internet users.”

Telseon

Mick Seaman, CTO

“Microsoft is helping Telseon extend Ethernet’s dominance into publicly accessible metropolitan area networks. Support for 802.1x in Windows XP will be welcomed by our customers who require privacy and security for both wired and wireless access.”

Toshiba Corp.

Hisatsugu Nonaka, Vice President and General Manager, Personal Computer Division

International Operations, Digital Media Network Co.

“Toshiba has long worked with Microsoft in portable computing, and we will support IEEE 802.1x in Windows XP on future products. Toshiba has developed Mobile Office Solutions with IEEE 802.1x technology, a broadband-backed wireless network for seamless public access in traveler hot spots, such as airports, cafes, hotels and other high-traffic public areas. IEEE 802.1x realizes the mobile office network by supporting the ability to compute and communicate anywhere, any time.”

Wayport Inc.

Jim Thompson, Chief Technology Officer

“Wayport considers 802.1x to be at the core of our strategy for providing readily accessible, secure wireless Internet access to travelers in public access locations. The standard is key to our Multiple Service Provider strategy, which will create a ‘roaming’ capability enabling customers of other wireless service providers to access the Wayport network. Microsoft’s inclusion of 802.1x support in Windows XP will enhance our offering and increase the availability of secure wireless Internet access across the board.”

Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.