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CES 2007: Cisco Sets Sights On Home Market

Cisco and its Linksys division are geared up to debut a slew of new products at this week's 2007 International Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas, backing Chairman and CEO John Chambers' recent pledge that the company plans to focus on the connected home.
Cisco Systems, along with its Linksys division, is gearing up to make its mark on the home space this week at the 2007 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Linksys is set to launch several new products at CES 2007, including its first network attached storage line for the consumer market, a new power line Ethernet adaptor that enables network connectivity via an electrical outlet, a new wireless print server that supports multi-function printers from a variety of vendors, and a new wireless Gigabit Ethernet gaming router.

The product launches come a few weeks after Chairman and CEO John Chambers, scheduled to speak at CES Tuesday, named the connected home as one of Cisco's key focus areas for growth in coming years.

"We're going to expand our consumer strategy. We've dealt ourselves a real nice set of cards. We've got to do a much better job in terms of seeing how we can tie them together," Chambers said last month at the Cisco C-Scape Global Forum 2006, the vendor's conference for industry analysts.

Cisco's consumer strategy also includes the acquisition of set-top box maker Scientific-Atlanta in 2005.

The new Network Attached StorageLink NAS200 includes two storage bays that support drives of up to 250 Gigabytes per bay, as well as two USB ports for connecting two additional, external storage devices for a total capacity of three Terabytes.

With the new PowerLine AV Ethernet Adapter Kit PLK 200, users can expand a home network by using existing power lines to transmit data, VoIP, or HDTV traffic at minimum speeds of 30 Mbps, opening up connectivity in areas that are not wireless-enabled.

Two years in development, Linksys' new Wireless-G PrintServer with MultiFunction Printer Support WPSM54G allows users wirelessly to share USB printers and multi-function printers. The device supports products from vendors such as Cannon, Dell, Epson, Hewlett-Packard and Lexmark.

Linksys also plans to showcase its new Wireless-N Gigabit Gaming Router. WRT330N aims to improve gaming performance with its Network Optimizer feature, which prioritizes latency-sensitive gaming and voice traffic. It is built on the draft of the forthcoming 802.11n standard for high-speed wireless networking.

All of the new products are available via distribution and will be available to digital integrators, a spokesperson said.