Microsoft Sets New Standard for Ease in Wireless Broadband Networking

LA JOLLA, Calif., Sept. 19, 2002 — Today at the IDG Executive Forum DEMOmobile conference, Microsoft Corp. announced the launch of Microsoft®
Broadband Networking products. The Broadband Networking product line was developed to give customers the easiest and quickest way to set up a Wi-Fi (802.11b) wireless network to share their broadband Internet connections, files and printers among all the computers in their home or small office. These new products offer users an easy way to get connected — both in the home or at the office and on the go.

“We are thrilled to have Microsoft launching this brand-new line of networking products at DEMOmobile this year,” said Chris Shipley, executive producer of The DEMO Conferences. “With the Broadband Networking line of products, the company proves that ‘easy networking’ is not an oxymoron. These products will significantly improve the setup experience for anyone who wants to install a wireless network.”

Empowering the Consumer

Consumers today want to share their broadband Internet connection. They also want the freedom to move about their home or to access the Internet from a computer in a different room from where their broadband connection is located. Public wireless “hot spots” based on Wi-Fi also are cropping up around the nation, making it even easier for users who have wireless capabilities to access their information while they’re out and about.

These new wireless networking products offer customers total flexibility to network from any room in the home or small office. In addition, the use of Wi-Fi (802.11b) helps ensure they will find wireless compatibility beyond their home on corporate wireless networks, at the airport or in the coffee shop down the street.

Easy Networking Starts Here

“The process of setting up a wireless network has simply been too complex for the people looking to share their broadband Internet connection,” said Lisa Brummel, corporate vice president for the Microsoft Home Products Division. “Our primary goal in creating these products was to help enable the scenarios that people see as important to their lives. This means giving users the freedom they need to access their information at any time and on any device.”

Several features in the new line of wireless Broadband Networking products significantly improve the experience of setting up and maintaining a wireless network. The Setup Wizard makes setup a snap by detecting the computer’s Internet service provider (ISP) and modem settings and automatically configuring the Microsoft Broadband Networking Wireless Base Station and PC. To make things even easier, the Setup Wizard copies the wireless network settings to the included Network Set-up Disk, eliminating the need to write down lengthy settings or encryption keys. Maintaining the network also is easy. The Broadband Network Utility allows the user to easily view the status of the network, troubleshoot a problem or download software updates.

Product packaging and easy-to-understand in-store merchandising charts and guides walk customers through the process of determining the pieces they need to purchase for their network. Before even setting foot in the store, customers can log on to Microsoft’s new Broadband Networking product Web site ( to gather information about these new products and wireless networking, and soon they will be able to use the Network Guide, a new configuration tool that provides them with a personalized list of what they need to purchase to create their network.

Improved Security Features

To help keep the network safe, Broadband Networking provides users with top-notch security for the home or small office on a variety of fronts. To help prevent wireless eavesdropping, 128-bit Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) encryption is turned on by default. Network address translation (NAT) and a built-in hardware firewall help prevent attacks from the Internet. And built-in Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) support helps keeps hackers out while enabling users to play multiplayer games and conduct video and voice conversations over the Internet from any networked PC in the house.

The Microsoft Base Station also offers advanced security features through the browser-based Base Station Management Tool, such as media access control (MAC) address filtering and parental controls. This allows network-savvy users to easily set up, change and maintain their network settings.

Unparalleled Support for a Complete Line of Products

Product support for Microsoft Broadband Networking is among the most comprehensive, convenient and available support anywhere. Toll-free technical support is available to customers 24 hours a day, seven days a week within the two-year hardware warranty period.

The complete line of Microsoft Broadband Networking products, which use the Intersil PRISM WLAN solution, includes a Wireless Base Station, a Wireless USB Adapter for connecting desktop computers and a Wireless Notebook Adapter (PCMCIA card) to add notebook computers to the network. In addition to the standalone Base Station and network adapters, Microsoft also has designed two all-in-one wireless networking kits to provide customers with everything they need in one box to create a wireless network between two computers. For users who are interested in creating wired Ethernet or hybrid networks, Microsoft also is offering five Ethernet products to complement its wireless offering.

Microsoft Broadband Networking Product Line

All prices* are in U.S. dollars:

  • Wireless Base Station (MN-500), $149.95

  • Wireless USB Adapter (MN-510), $79.95

  • Wireless Notebook Adapter (MN-520), $79.95

  • Wireless Desktop Kit (MN-610; Base Station plus USB adapter), $219.95

  • Wireless Laptop Kit (MN-620; Base Station plus Notebook adapter), $219.95

  • 10/100 Ethernet Wired Base Station (MN-100), $79.95

  • 10/100 Ethernet USB Adapter (MN-110), $29.95

  • 10/100 Ethernet Notebook Adapter (MN-120), $39.95

  • 10/100 Ethernet PCI Adapter (MN-130), $24.95

  • 10/100 Ethernet 5-Port Switch (MN-150), $39.95

About DEMOmobile 2002

The annual DEMO and DEMOmobile conferences focus on emerging technologies and new products, which are hand-selected by executive producers Chris Shipley and Amy Francetic from across the spectrum of the personal technology marketplace. Top executives from the leading hardware and software technology companies, venture capitalists, journalists from key industry publications, and industry analysts attend the DEMO and DEMOmobile conferences to preview the most promising products and technologies for the coming year. DEMO is held in February each year and features approximately 60 new companies, products and technologies. DEMOmobile is held each fall and features approximately 35 new mobile technologies. More information can be found at

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

*Estimated retail prices. Actual retail prices may vary.

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