When it comes to home networking technologies, Intel is now siding with … Apple?
Yes, it’s a strange world. However, Intel will announce today its new AnyPoint Wireless II Network products based on 802.11b that let people wirelessly link their personal computers and laptops so they can share a Net connection, files and computer peripherals such as printers, according to
Last year Intel announced support for a wireless standard called HomeRF that was backed by wireless technology provider Proxim as well as Siemens, Motorola and Compaq. But with HomeRF support sagging, five months ago Intel announced it would switch its support to 802.11b, or Wi-Fi, a competing wireless standard backed by Apple, Dell, Cisco Systems, Agere Systems and about 60 more companies. The Wi-Fi standard, which is based on the IEEE 802.11 standard, is being used by Apple currently in its AirPort wireless technology system and operates at up to 11Mbps.
Wi-Fi is being promoted by the Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA), an industry organization created to promote the 802.11b standard.
Intel previously touted HomeRF as cheaper than 802.11b, but prices of 802.11b products have dropped considerably in the past year, according to CNET. Intel previously sold 802.11b products aimed at businesses and HomeRF products aimed at consumers, but Intel executives say supporting one standard will allow workers to go home and have their work laptops easily connect to a wireless home network, the article continues.
Though some analysts said a home-networking brouhaha could be brewing similar to the VCR technology battle that pitted VHS against Betamax in the early days of videotape machines, others feel that Intel’s support for 802.11b gives the technology the edge to win out as the standard in the home. During the past few months, HomeRF has needed to show new support from companies beyond its three main backers — Motorola, Proxim and Siemens –and it hasn’t happened yet, Parks Associates analyst Kurt Scherf told CNET.
Of course, Apple has made it relatively easy and inexpensive for Mac users to utilize Wi-Fi techology via its AirPort cards and base stations. (Thanks to MacCentral reader, A. Brody, for the heads-up on this one.)