Microsoft kills its Wi-Fi offerings

Microsoft Corp. has decided to stop producing wireless networking products and will discontinue its range of gear using the 802.11b wireless networking standard, also known by the Wi-Fi marketing name, the company announced Tuesday.

"Microsoft is scaling back its presence in the category," a Microsoft spokeswoman in the U.K. said. "However, the broadband networking routers and NICs (Network Interface Cards) are only sold in the North American market, so the move does not have any relevance in the U.K. or E.U. (European Union) markets," she said.

The spokeswoman declined to comment on why the Redmond, Washington, company was exiting the Wi-Fi field.

Microsoft will sell the remaining Wi-Fi products it currently has in stock, and the company will support its existing products through their two-year warranty period though service beyond that time frame will not be offered, she said.

The software giant entered the Wi-Fi market in 2002 and its products, such as the company's Broadband Networking Wireless Kit and its Wireless-G product line, have generally received high marks from consumers and reviewers.

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