Centrino Certification Stunts Continue

from the keep-repeating-it-until-its-true dept

When Intel launched its Centrino line of chipsets, it didn’t set out to make the brand name synonymous with WiFi, it wanted to replace WiFi in common parlance with Centrino. It’s been dogged by some ever since as little more than a marketing exercise, a viewpoint backed up by some of the things Intel’s done to make it look like Centrino is the only thing that matters in wireless — including misleading and confusing advertising and a program for hotspots where Intel would “certify” them as Centrino-compatible, then be generous enough to let the hotspot owner display a Centrino sticker (something apparently successful enough that AMD copied it). The latest to buy into the scheme is Boeing’s Connexion in-flight WiFi service, which has proudly annouced it’s Centrino certified. It’s a rather pointless thing, as one significant factor in WiFi’s overwhelming success has been its interoperability among vendors and use of open standards. If a hotspot requires special work to make it compatible with Centrino products, its hard to see how that could be considered something beneficial.

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Comments on “Centrino Certification Stunts Continue”

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1 Comment
Brett Glass says:

Centrino STILL not compatible with Intersil Prism

Here we are, more than 3 years after the above was written, and Intel still has not fixed the incompatibilities between its Centrino line and Wi-Fi access points based on the venerable Intersil Prism chipsets. Millions upon millions of Wi-Fi access points use this chipset, including several by D-Link as well as the venerable Senao CB3+ Deluxe.

We are an ISP, and serve some apartment complexes and coffeehouses that have Wi-Fi hotspots and access points. As we have learned after many tech support calls from frustrated users, if you have a Centrino laptop, you will likely find that you cannot use many Wi-Fi hotspots.

Our users have reported these problems again and again to Intel, as has my wireless ISP. But Intel’s tech support apparently is set up to assume that any and al problems will be the fault of the user; they’re just plain not equipped to receive reports of an actual bug in their product! When we’ve tried to get the issue esclated, we’re told that we should call the manufacturer of the laptop that’s having the problem and have them complain to Intel. But our company doesn’t own any Centrino-based laptops (for this very reason), so this is nothing but a runaround.

As a result, our ISP can only warn users that if they buy a Centrino-based laptop, they’ll probably have to keep a separate Wi-Fi adapter (a PCMCIA card or a USB Wi-Fi adapter) handy if they want to be sure to connect. In my opinion, Intel should not be allowed to call its Centrino chips “Wi-Fi” until they fix this frustrating incompatibility.

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