Wait-and-see on Cisco's Linksys buy

What Cisco's acquisition of home wireless networking product maker Linksys means for New Zealand isn't clear says Linksys' local agent.

What Cisco Systems' purchase of home wireless LAN hardware maker Linksys means for New Zealand isn't yet clear, says John Dunbar, managing director of Ingram Micro, Linksys' New Zealand distributor.

It's a case of wait-and-see, Dunbar says, adding that it's possible Cisco might expand the Linksys range.

"I don't know whether it'll use the Cisco name [for Linksys products]; it probably won't, otherwise it would have got into that market itself earlier."

Buying Linksys gets Cisco into the SOHO (small office and home office) market, which it has avoided until now in favour of large customers.

The purchase of Linksys is the biggest acquisition Cisco has made for some time, involving $US500 million in cash. Cisco head John Chambers says "the home networking space has achieved mass market acceptance and Linksys has captured a strong position in this growing market".

Cisco product development general manager Charlie Giancarlo told Computerword US that Cisco looked at developing its own consumer wireless products unit but decided buying an existing one was a better option.

Linksys announced on March 7 that it was to launch 802.11g-compatible equipment in the Asia-Pacific region, claiming to be the first vendor to be doing so.

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