Microsoft Unleashes New Fast and Easy-to-Use Home Networking Products With Automatic Security

Editor’s note:
References and hyperlinks to some products have been removed since publish date due to changes in product availability.

REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 16, 2003 — Microsoft Corp. today unveiled Wireless-G, an innovative Wi-Fi® certified 802.11g wireless networking solution. Utilizing powerful security technologies, the new lineup of wireless networking products enables consumers to simply share a broadband Internet connection, information files, printers and more between all the computers in the home at up to five times the speed of a typical 802.11b wireless network.

The new products introduced today are Microsoft® Wireless Base Station MN-700, a router with an integrated 802.11g wireless access point and four-point Ethernet switch; Wireless Notebook Adapter MN-720, which adds a notebook computer to the wireless network; Wireless PCI Adapter MN-730, which adds a desktop computer to the network; Wireless Notebook Kit MN-820, with everything users need to create a wireless network for a desktop and notebook; and Xbox® Wireless Adapter MN-740, the only comprehensive, first-party solution for high- performance Xbox gaming without the hassle of wires.

“Wi-Fi is an exploding technology with adoption growing at a rapid pace,” said Todd Greenberg, product manager for Microsoft Broadband Networking. “Microsoft Wireless-G products feature standards- based technology to ensure compatibility; an enhanced, proprietary Setup Wizard for easy network setup; and premier security out of the box, making it easy for consumers to join this trend.”

Key features of Microsoft Wireless-G include the following:

  • Easy installation. Microsoft Wireless-G is designed to make high- performance wireless home networking easy. An enhanced Setup Wizard provides step-by-step instructions for installation and enables additional PCs to be added to the network quickly and efficiently.

  • Auto Update. Microsofts proprietary Auto Update service automatically sends a message when updates are available, keeping consumers up to date with ever-changing software enhancements. The Wireless Base Station MN-700 is powered by Windows® CE .NET 4.2, enabling Microsoft, its partners and other developers to create additional applications and benefits for customers.

  • Premier security. Wireless-G helps keep the network safe from wireless eavesdroppers with premier, easy-to-use security features, including Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA). In addition, Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) is automatically turned on by the Setup Wizard and a stateful packet inspection (SPI) hardware firewall helps protect users from Internet intruders.

  • High performance at the speed of G. Wireless-G supports speeds of up to 54 Mbps and includes Parental Controls, the first key feature written for the flexible Windows CE platform. Parental controls allow parents or employers enhanced control over access to Internet content via the network.

  • Innovations in wireless gaming. Co-developed by Xbox and Microsoft Broadband Networking, Xbox Wireless Adapter enables gamers to play on the XboxLive™ service from any Xbox-connected television in the home without wires by adding Xbox to an existing 802.11g or 802.11b Wi-Fi network.

Supporting Industry Standards

The newest products from Microsoft Broadband Networking are ratified by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), have Wi-Fi interoperability certification, and are compatible with existing wireless networks and hot spots.

“To reach its full potential, Wi-Fi depends on standards-based technologies that combine high performance and tight security in an easy-to-use consumer package,” said Jonathan Gaw, research manager for home networking at IDC. “Certified interoperability, performance, security and simplicity in installation and maintenance, such as what is available from Microsoft, will be key to the spread of wireless networks both in the home and at public hot spots.”

Leading With the Right Partners

“We are excited that Microsoft is launching Wireless-G with Broadcom technology, which provides the best solution for consumers and small businesses transitioning to 54Mbps Wi-Fi networks,” said Clint Brown, director of Business Development in the Home and Wireless Networking Business Unit at Broadcom. “Microsofts unique software enhancements will allow customers to experience maximum performance, greater range and robust security offered by 54g™ -based products.”

Why Go Wi-Fi

The fact that 30 million Americans log on to the Internet at home with a broadband connection indicates a growing need for Wi-Fi technology.* The benefits of Wi-Fi include the following:

  • Sharing a broadband Internet connection. For example, Wireless-G from Microsoft makes it easy for Mom to work online while her kids use the same Internet connection for schoolwork from a different computer all without the hassle and mess of wires.

  • Enjoying the freedom of Internet access. With a wireless home network, Internet access is no longer tied to the wall. In the home, networked laptop users can stay connected to the Internet settings from the living room to the deck. On the road, the Internet can be accessed via thousands of public hot spots, often found in cafes, hotel lobbies and other well-traveled areas.

  • Sharing files, printers and information between computers. With a wireless network, consumers no longer have to e-mail or save large files to a disk to access the data on multiple computers. Saving information to the shared network drive makes information available on any networked computer, at any time.

  • Interactive, online gameplay without wires. With Xbox Wireless Adapter, gamers can play on Xbox Live without a cumbersome Ethernet cord running from the Broadband Internet connection to the Xbox console by adding Xbox to an existing 802.11g or 802.11b Wi-Fi network. Once Xbox is added to a network, gamers can wirelessly experience Xbox Live gaming from any Xbox-connected television in the home, without messy cables or holes in the wall.

Product Availability

The new products will be widely available to consumers in the United States and Canada at the end of September 2003 for the following estimated retail prices**:

  • Microsoft Wireless Base Station MN-700 $109

  • Wireless Notebook Adapter MN-720 $84.95

  • Wireless PCI Adapter MN-730 $84.95

  • Wireless Notebook Kit MN-820 $179

  • Xbox Wireless Adapter MN-740 $139***

About Microsoft Hardware

For two decades, the Hardware Group has employed innovative engineering, cutting-edge industrial design and extensive usability testing to create products of exceptional quality and durability that enhance the software experience and strengthen the connection between consumers and their PC. Microsoft Hardware leads the industry in ergonomic engineering, industrial design and networking capabilities offering consumers a comfortable computing experience.

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.

* Source: San Jose Mercury News/Kaiser Family Foundation, Broadband Adoption at Home: A Pew Internet Project Data Memo, May 18, 2003

** Prices are estimated U.S. retail prices. Actual prices may vary.

*** Available October 2003 with a special limited offer starting in November of a $40 (U.S.) mail-in rebate when Xbox Live Starter Kit and Xbox Wireless Adapter are purchased together. Certain offer restrictions apply. See for details.

Microsoft, Xbox, Windows and Xbox Live 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.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsofts corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsofts Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at .

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