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Microsoft Broadband Networking

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Microsoft Broadband Networking was a series of computer networking hardware products marketed by Microsoft from 2002 through 2004.

In July 2002 Microsoft product managers stated that home networking was too hard to use, and the company was developing products using the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.11b standard (sold under the Wi-Fi name).[1] Products announced in September included the MN-500 wireless base station, MN-510 WiFi Universal Serial Bus (USB) network interface controller and MN-520 PC Card for laptop computers.[2] The MN-500 served as a wireless access point, a router, and included an Ethernet hub with four 10/100 Ethernet ports. A five port Ethernet switch and Ethernet network interface controller cards were announced, along with kits.[2] Reviews noted the reasonable prices and simple interface, although the configuration software would sometimes fail.[3] One reviewer noted the 96-page book included with the base station.[4] It was one of the first products to enable Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) by default, which provided at least some level of privacy. Software included a setup wizard, a broadband network utility (BNU) and an auto-update feature.[5] According to codes in the documentation, the initial MN-510 was developed by Accton Technology Corporation. Features were similar to products of SMC Networks, a subsidiary of Accton.[6]

By January 2003 it was estimated the products were in the number two position in US retail sales for Wi-Fi products. However market share declined by February when introduction of faster products based on IEEE 802.11g standards were delayed. Market leader Linksys was purchased by Cisco Systems in March. NetGear and D-Link also gained market share in 2003.[7] The MN-700 model supporting 802.11g was available in September.[8] A new PC card for 802.11g was also available. Reviews noted easy setup, but limited features compared to competitors.[9] Microsoft discontinued the line in May 2004.[10]


  1. ^ Richard Shim (July 10, 2002). "Microsoft heads for home networking". CNET news. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Joe Wilcox (September 18, 2002). "Microsoft unveils networking hardware". CNET news. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
  3. ^ Bruce Brown (June 30, 2003). "Microsoft MN-500". PC magazine. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
  4. ^ David Pogue (December 12, 2002). "State of the Art: The Wi-Fi Boom; the Home, a Tool Kit For a Wireless Network". The New York Times. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
  5. ^ "Interview with Todd Greenberg, Lead Product Manager: Microsoft Broadband Networking". ActiveWin.com. March 3, 2004. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
  6. ^ "Microsoft Goes for BroadBand Big Time". Tom's Hardware. September 30, 2002. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
  7. ^ Joe Wilcox and Richard Shim (March 28, 2003). "Microsoft's Wi-Fi ups and downs". CNET news. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
  8. ^ "MN-700 data sheet" (PDF). Microsoft. July 28, 2003. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
  9. ^ Oliver Kaven (June 30, 2003). "Microsoft MN-700". PC magazine. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
  10. ^ Ina Fried (May 10, 2004). "Microsoft says bye-bye to Wi-Fi". CNET news. Retrieved June 27, 2011.

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