Today, Microsoft announced a new series of aggressively priced wireless products based on the 802.11g Wi-Fi (Wireless-G) standard, including base stations, PC desktop and notebook wireless adapters, and the first-ever wireless adapter for the Xbox video game system. The new Wireless-G products also include superior wireless security options, parental controls, and up to five times the performance of today's more common 802.11b Wi-Fi products.
"Wi-Fi is an exploding technology with adoption growing at a rapid pace," says Todd Greenberg, the product manager for Microsoft Broadband Networking at the software giant. "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."
Microsoft's new Wireless-G products include the Microsoft Wireless Base Station MN-700 (about $109), a network router with an integrated 802.11g wireless access point and four wired Ethernet ports; the Wireless Notebook Adapter MN-720 ($85), an 802.11g-based notebook adapter; the Wireless PCI Adapter MN-730 ($85) for desktop computers; the Wireless Notebook Kit MN-820 ($180), which includes the MN-700 router and MN-720 notebook adapter in a single, convenient package; and the Xbox Wireless Adapter MN-740 ($140 with a $40 mail-in rebate for users that opt to also join Xbox Live at the same time).
As with the previous generation, Microsoft's new wireless hardware sets itself apart from the competition with incredibly simple setup and management software. Additionally, the base stations are based on Windows CE .NET and feature an Auto Update feature that keeps the system's firmware up to date with new security patches and bug fixes. I'll be posting a full review of the new Wireless-G hardware on the SuperSite for Windows next week.