One Way To Get Past Slow WiFi Standards Processes: Guarantee You'll Upgrade Hardware
from the nice-move dept
We’ve discussed repeatedly some of the problems facing various standards bodies, especially when it comes to wireless technologies, where internal bickering, fights over patents and companies releasing incompatible “pre-standard” versions tend to fragment and slow down a market, rather than move it forward. This has been true for the next generation of WiFi (802.11n) as well, with various people recommending that buyers ignore the so-called “pre-n” equipment. Glenn Fleishman is pointing out that vendor ASUS has announced today a way around this stalemate: a promise to upgrade any equipment bought this year to the final standard. This is a smart move. Historically, companies often say that they’ll upgrade the firmware, but they can’t guarantee the hardware will be compatible with the final standard (though, it may well be). However, by guaranteeing that they’ll upgrade the hardware as well, it takes most of the worries out of the upgrade issue. While it may still be a pain to upgrade the equipment, ASUS is making it as simple as possible. As Glenn notes, it seems quite likely that other vendors are going to need to follow suit, and that could help jumpstart the market for next generation WiFi equipment, even before the standard is set — but without many of the downsides of pre-standard adoption.