Adios Linksys

When Cisco's CEO, John Chambers, recently confirmed that the Linksys brand-name would be phased out, the news immediately triggered a rash of questions from family, friends and colleagues. So, if like them, you're a Linksys product user and therefore wondering exactly what this means and how this news might affect you, read on...

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By  Jason Saundalkar Published  July 30, 2007

Based on the current information, namely what Mr Chambers said (read our story here) it is likely that no new products will be introduced under the Linksys brand, which in turn means the actual brand name will probably fade into obscurity in the coming years.

So, does this mean you have to turn to another firm if you're interested in say, a broadband router or network switch for your home? Well, there's a yes and no answer to that question. Yes because Linksys' product will disappear. Then again, no because Cisco, the company that owns Linksys, intends to release a full range of home and small to medium business (SMB) products under its own brand in the future.

You might even, and this is pure speculation, see what were Linksys products, sporting the same design, interface etc. appearing under an as-yet-confirmed new Cisco brand. At present however, it really isn't quite clear whether Cisco plans to launch new home and small business models that has been completely redesigned or whether it will simply re-badge existing Linksys kit.

The biggest worry of people I know was, as you might have guessed, related to product support. You see everyone who owns a Linksys product might immediately worry that they'll be up the creek without a paddle in terms of getting warranty help should their kit start acting strangely. If you're thinking the same thing, then I'm glad to tell you, just as I told them, that you needn't worry.

Whilst Cisco, Linksys' parent company, will be putting an end to the Linksys brand-name, it isn't going to kill support. So, if you've got a product that fails whilst it's under warranty, you'll definitely be able to get it exchanged or fixed, and you can also still look forward to firmware updates and bug fixes for these products.

As for why Cisco decided to drop the Linksys brand, that's a very good question. If you're a doomsday cynic and want to suggest that Cisco is on the ropes and looking to cut costs, then I'd suggest you're wrong. The company finished its 2006 financial year with revenues of US $24.48 billion and a net income of US $5.58 billion, which is a hefty chunk of change. It seems instead that Cisco simply wanted to focus on developing a single brand for the market, rather than trying to divide its attention by focusing on two distinctly different offerings at once.

As always, the Windows Middle East team will be following these Cisco developments closely, so if anything major happens that's likely to impact you, the users, we'll tell you about it. Alternatively, if you have any questions or suggestions, drop us a line on windows@itp.com.

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