Microsoft's official entry into the consumer networking hardware business has been met with mixed reactions from industry watchers. Some say the line of wired and 802.11b wireless routers and network adapters is priced right, and has the advantage of Microsoft's Support organization behind it. Others say it's a ho-hum offering, with little to differentiate it from the slew of established products from Linksys, SMC, D-Link, NETGEAR, and others.
I'm going to take a different approach to examining Microsoft's offerings by digging down past the marketing spin, with a detailed look at the MN-500 Wireless Base Station (router). I'll also show you who won the business to make the products for Microsoft,and offer my observations on what you might expect if you choose to make Microsoft your network hardware vendor.