In-home networking consortium moving ahead without Microsoft

A plan for making home PC networks cheaper and simpler has been endorsed by a group of industry heavyweights. But the technology, which uses existing telephone wiring inside the home, has evidently been panned by the industry's most influential player: Microsoft. 3Com, Compaq, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Lucent, and Rockwell are still behind HomeRun technology, which creates a 1.3M bps Ethernet-compatible local area network (LAN) using inside phone lines.

A plan for making home PC networks cheaper and simpler has been endorsed by a group of industry heavyweights. But the technology, which uses existing telephone wiring inside the home, has evidently been panned by the industry's most influential player: Microsoft.

A collection of companies calling itself the Home Phoneline Networking Alliance (HomePNA) announced yesterday its intention to back Tut Systems' HomeRun technology, which creates a 1.3M bps Ethernet-compatible local area network (LAN) using inside phone lines. Founding members include 3Com, Compaq, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Lucent, and Rockwell.

According to a spokesperson for the HomePNA, Microsoft dropped out of the alliance last week.

In November last year, Tut Systems and Microsoft announced a joint marketing program based on HomeRun. At the time, the two firms said they would work with other vendors to release products to take advantage of the technology, but so far none have materialised.

Members of the HomePNA say they expect to have products available by the end of 1998. Officials from Tut and Microsoft were unavailable for comment.

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