Microsoft on Wi-Fi Board

By allNetDevices Staff

August 02, 2001

Signals interest in WLANs

Signaling its interest in wireless networking, Microsoft has joined the board of directors of the group that certifies 802.11b wireless local area networks.

Microsoft joined the board of the Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA), which certifies and promotes 802.11 (also known as Wi-Fi) products. The technology has long been the most popular wireless networking technology in the enterprise and many observers believe it has surpassed HomeRF as the leading wireless networking technology in the home.

"Wi-Fi Wireless networks are enabling people to stay connected anytime, anyplace, whether at home, at work, or on the road," said Jawad Khaki, Microsoft's vice president of Windows networking. He noted that native support for Wi-Fi will be built into Windows XP, the company's next-generation operating system expected to be released this fall.

The group's board now has eight members. Founding members include 3Com, Agere, Cisco, Intermec, Intersil, Nokia and Symbol. Proxim claims it has patents that cover some underlying Wi-Fi technology and is pressing these and other vendors to pay royalties.

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