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Linksys expected to fetch less than the $500 million Cisco paid in 2003

Cisco Systems is one the largest makers computer network hardware in the world. While the majority of the products that Cisco sells directly are enterprise grade products sold to businesses, Cisco does have the Linksys consumer brand for wireless routers, hubs, and IP cameras.

However, a report suggests Cisco is looking to sell Linksys and has hired Barclays PLC to help it find a buyer. Bloomberg indicates that Linksys could be interesting to TV makers seeking a recognized brand name and technology.

Cisco purchased Linksys in 2003 to give itself a consumer networking arm for $500 million. At the time, Linksys was a mature company in the consumer business segment with low margins.  Linksys is now expected to fetch significantly less than the $500 million Cisco paid.

Like many other companies in the technology segment, Cisco has been downsizing in order to streamline its operations. The company eliminated 7,800 employees over the last year and closed its Flip video camera unit that made small, handheld digital camcorders.

Source: Bloomberg



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disappearing market.
By Gunbuster on 12/17/2012 12:16:42 PM , Rating: 2
They bought Linksys right as the market was disappearing. You get broadband and the wifi router is included 99% of the time these days. Consumers have just about 0 reason to be shopping for a router anymore.




RE: disappearing market.
By fhornmikey on 12/17/2012 1:30:55 PM , Rating: 2
The only service around here that comes with a WiFi router is ATT U-verse, and I don't think I need to explain just how bad that hardware and service is.


RE: disappearing market.
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/17/2012 1:31:58 PM , Rating: 2
No, it's not.


RE: disappearing market.
By nedsand on 12/18/2012 11:36:27 AM , Rating: 2
This is area specific and in my area dominated by ATT and Cox I absolutely love the fact that they sell wireless hardware with their service. It saves me a lot of headache since I stopped doing computer work on the side years ago. I get the question of "what router should I buy" every couple of months and always tell them to order it from their provider. The hardware really isn't that bad and they come preconfigured with instructions even a moron can understand. And when one of the end users at work has a question I can tell them to call their provider as the cost of support is built into the cost of the hardware.

My first cable modem was a Motorolla Surfboad and I loved it and have had a few since the first but everytime I called my provider with issues that were clearly on their end they always wanted to blame my modem since I didn't purchase it from them. The last time this happened I got fed up and ordered one of their modems expecting the worst hardware imaginable. But to my surprise the off brand "speedsomethingoranother" has a cisco sticker on the bottom and has been just as reliable and speedy as all of the Surfboard modems I had in the past.


RE: disappearing market.
By Argon18 on 12/17/2012 2:07:39 PM , Rating: 2
It's true, all the big ISP's give you a free wireless router these days. Comcast cable internet, Verizon FiOS, etc. The only people who go out and buy their own now, are gamers, and geeks.

As for the products, I'm still using my pre-merger Linksys wireless G routers and access points. They work flawlessly, the only time they ever get rebooted is when there's a power outage from a storm or something. They're rock solid, unlike the newer Cisco/Linksys crap.


RE: disappearing market.
By dgingerich on 12/17/2012 6:11:40 PM , Rating: 2
yeah, and you've got to love how they never leave the password with the users so they could administrate it, leave it almost completely wide open for hackers, then provide the MPAA and RIAA with their users' IPs so they could be wrongly sued.

No thanks, I provide my own cable modem and router. With the quality of home routers (7 routers from 4 brands, Belkin, Netgear, WD, and Trendnet, in the last 2 years, none lasting longer than 6 months, most less than 2) these days, I'm also setting up my own server as wireless access point and secure router.


RE: disappearing market.
By nocturne on 12/18/2012 12:49:11 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, seriously..? Try looking on the sticker on the bottom for the default password, or your 'quick start guide'. I've installed hundreds of modems/routers, and they all pretty much make it plain and simple. I haven't seen a router from an ISP without a random generated default password in at least 5 years, and most if not all also have most firmware features locked from the outside by default.


RE: disappearing market.
By Piiman on 12/18/2012 1:06:31 AM , Rating: 2
Well I have FIOS and the routers password at one time had some default but Verizon connected to it and changed it to be the serail number and there isn't a sticker on the buttom of it. I have seen others that do have it but mine doesn't and I'm betting anyone else that got one around the same time doesn't have a sticker either and that was only two years ago. However they don't keep it a secret so if you don't know it just call them and you can administer your heart away. BTW the serial number doesn't seem to work for the password :-(. and besides what good is having a 25MB line when you have a 10 100 Mb port on a "G" wireless router? It won't get anywhere near the 25MB speed at your device.

They are trying to sell me a 75MB line if I re sign up but I don't see the need since it will never come out of the router/modem that fast unless they also supply me a different modem/router.


RE: disappearing market.
By nedsand on 12/18/2012 11:40:44 AM , Rating: 2
You have your MB's and Mb's mixed up. I wish I could get 75Mb line without having to sell a kidney.

BTW 1 MB = 8 Mb and no one sells 10MB network equipment anymore however it can still handle 80Mb.


RE: disappearing market.
By JediJeb on 12/18/2012 3:24:57 PM , Rating: 2
I wish I could get more than 1.5Mb service from AT&T. I live 5 miles from a town of 20k people and just got that about two years ago. My parents have phone service with an independent phone company Brandenburg Telephone Company and they have 2Mb(company offers higher, they got the entry level) and live 20 miles from the nearest town of 1500 people and there is probably a mile between houses there. If some little company that serves about three counties in Kentucky can offer such service, why can't someone like AT&T offer at least that much?


RE: disappearing market.
By Tiborticus on 12/18/2012 6:33:35 AM , Rating: 2
Wrong! The routers included with broadband service is poorer than the service you get from providers. That's why I and many other people I talk to,who are knowledgable, still purchase routers these days and that's also why companies like Asus produce bleeding edge routers. You have apparently chosen to blind yourself to reality or you're just not too bright.


RE: disappearing market.
By Gunbuster on 12/18/2012 9:17:26 AM , Rating: 2
Blind myself to reality? Oh maybe I'm not very bright duuuurrrr

Take your monocle out for a minute. I stated that the market is disappearing. Ten years ago EVERYONE who wanted wifi had to buy their own. Now you only need to go searching for a router if you want upgraded capabilities. What percent do you think that is? The market segment went from 99% of people who needed wifi buying a linksys/netgear/etc... to maybe 10% tops.


Positive experience
By jibz on 12/17/2012 12:18:26 PM , Rating: 2
Well since everyone else seems to hate their Linksys, just wanted to say that I couldn't be more happy with my E4200. Never had to reboot it since I bought it (over a year), despite some mid to heavy usage. Speed and range are great, I've been running my main computer on a AE3000, plus my laptop with an Intel Ultimate-N 6300, my Galaxy Nexus, my gf's iPhone, my Samsung blu-ray and my Xbox 360 and I really, really can't complain. I just never think about my wireless setup anymore. It just works.




RE: Positive experience
By Iketh on 12/17/2012 12:48:49 PM , Rating: 2
Yea, I don't understand the negativity either... I have the same experiences with my Linksys routers as you

However, I recently tried an Asus N900 router that I am very impressed with. I will consider them in the future now too

Reading through the comments, it seems the negativity is from people that don't know wtf they're doing really... it's like the reviews on Newegg, only the pissed-off people comment


RE: Positive experience
By nedsand on 12/18/2012 12:00:43 PM , Rating: 2
I think what Linksys had going for them pre-cisco was the easy to use setup instructions and CD that was written in English by someone who spoke English as their primary language. This allowed the end user to create a secure network by just clicking next a few times and inserting the CD into any additional computers. Back then there were not nearly as many smartphones, smart TV's, XBOX's and other devices that you can't just pop a CD in and click next a few times. Now you have to pick a protocol that supports all of your devices and configure each one individually. This compounds the amount of effort needed to get everything setup correctly. Thus you have more negative feedback. This isn't entirely Cisco's fault but they have never been able to match what linksys had going for them as far as simple setup goes.


RE: Positive experience
By WLee40 on 12/17/2012 12:55:56 PM , Rating: 2
Me too. I've had the E4200 for 6 months now and never rebooted. I had Netgear before and constantly had to reboot it. I don't have to think about my wireless anymore either. Running 3 iPads, Xbox 360, Samsung smart TV, 2 Droid phones, and 4 computers. No issues, ever. Easy setup.


RE: Positive experience
By Rukkian on 12/17/2012 3:00:17 PM , Rating: 2
I think alot of people were turned off by their early releases shortly after they acquired linksys. I was not fond of the quality for the first few years.

A few years ago, I had the chance to play with an e2500, and it was pretty solid, and has become my goto suggestion for anybody needing a good, reasonably priced router that works well.


RE: Positive experience
By Cr0nJ0b on 12/17/2012 4:10:36 PM , Rating: 2
I have I think 3 WRT-54G routers that have been working great. The only issue I had was the power supplies going out. I ended up finding knock-offs for like $5 each or something and replacing them all. They work great with Tomato firmware...with nice features. I'm happy for the most part.


RE: Positive experience
By Alexvrb on 12/18/2012 12:31:26 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. Old pre-Cisco Linksys hardware was decent. Early days of Cisco-Linksys were kind of terrible, especially the firmware. I switched to D-Link for a while. My favorite D-Link router of the "G" era was the DGL-4300. Good performance, decent firmware.

But when I stepped up to Wireless N, I eventually ended up with an E2500. Not as nice as its higher-end brethren, but still very solid for my purposes. It was a good balance of features, performance, and price.

The software side is only OK. Better than the early Cisco-Linksys days, though.


I quit buying linksys products
By spamreader1 on 12/17/2012 11:52:22 AM , Rating: 2
shortly after cisco bought them anyway.




RE: I quit buying linksys products
By spamreader1 on 12/17/2012 11:59:32 AM , Rating: 3
I suppose I should state the reason. They didn't do much with the Linksys products except slap the "Cisco product" logo on them. The quality remained the same or was reduced in the few products I saw afterward. I have not seen/heard anything to indicate that this has changed. This actually slightly lowered my view of Cisco's brand image at the end of the day. (We're still an all Cisco shop, not that big of a change, still get good service on our enterprise hardware.)


By retrospooty on 12/17/2012 12:07:25 PM , Rating: 3
"The quality remained the same or was reduced in the few products I saw afterward."

Reduced... in a big way. Linksys went way down after Cisco bought them.


A good change?
By morgan12x on 12/17/2012 9:28:31 AM , Rating: 3
I think Cisco did some positive things for Linksys for some really negative ones too. These products don't have a lot of profit margin but I can buy much better hardware for the same money as a Linksys product. Pre-Cisco they were some of the best you could buy. They had great modder friendly features as well. Removal antennas, GPL licensed firmware, and top of the line chips. Now, they're just overpriced and packed with stupid proprietary features that are not even common across a family of products. I think they need a new owner and a new lease on life.




Meraki
By Nnev on 12/18/2012 9:06:14 AM , Rating: 2
Did Cisco not just bey Meraki a few weeks ago? I got a demo from a Meraki rep at a conference this weekend and was blown away by the products. A consumer based version of this hardware with the Meraki software would be a game changer for sure... oh.. they also offer a free cloud based MDM for users to manage their tabs and phones.




Good
By dj LiTh on 12/17/12, Rating: -1
RE: Good
By theapparition on 12/17/2012 10:43:54 AM , Rating: 5
Really?

Because Linksys was profitable and made some really good products before Cisco. Now, not so much.


RE: Good
By marvdmartian on 12/17/2012 11:25:28 AM , Rating: 5
Yep, first thing I thought of, was "Well, maybe now Linksys can be owned by someone who will give a ####, and want to make quality products again!"

Was really psyched, when I heard Cisco was buying Linksys, way back when. Was really disappointed when I saw the quality of the products they put out.


RE: Good
By dgingerich on 12/17/2012 11:55:47 AM , Rating: 2
No kidding. I was thinking that Cisco would improve functionality and keep the manufacturing quality. Instead they screwed up the software side and drove the manufacturing quality through the floor. I had a couple pre-Cisco Linksys products (a router that lasted me 2 years and a 100Mb NIC that is still in use today) with very good luck.

I got one Linksys/Cisco router for my dad, and that stupid thing took forever to configure because of how confusing it was (a Cisco hallmark trait) and it only lasted about 2 months. We didn't bother with getting a new one under warranty because it was just too much of a PITA. I swore I wouldn't buy another one.


RE: Good
By Stuka on 12/17/2012 12:52:18 PM , Rating: 2
I think my modem is DOCSIS 2.0 and my 54G is probably v2. While not pre-Cisco era, they are still tiptop. Both have been powered on and serving packets for 99% of their lives. Plus, they stack on top of each other. I couldn't ask for anything more. lol

I think it'll take either full IPV6 or +100Mb broadband to get me to power these guys down.


RE: Good
By tamalero on 12/17/2012 1:57:19 PM , Rating: 4
agree, Cisco did everything wrong with he linksys brand.. now look at other companies that are eating all their market-share (looking at ASUS and their awesome new routers), netgear, etc..

Seems the big guys are failing and new ones are replacing them ( dlink going to hell as well, netgear is doing great, asus amazing.. tplink going up..etc..)


RE: Good
By Argon18 on 12/17/2012 2:04:17 PM , Rating: 2
I think everyone is on the same page here. I never understood why Cisco ever bought Linksys. Were they planning on using Linksys consumer technology in their business products? Of course not. Were they planning on putting their enterprise hardware/firmware into consumer products? Of course not. Cisco is already the big name in business networking, so it's not like they needed a mass-market consumer product to slap their logo on and get their name out there.

Like many of the big IT mergers of the past decade, it had failure written on it from the beginning. Corporate mis-management at its finest.


RE: Good
By Bad-Karma on 12/17/2012 2:26:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Were they planning on putting their enterprise hardware/firmware into consumer products? Of course not.


Several of their products were actually gimped down versions of hardware found in their business/enterprise units. Same chips and PCB under the hood, only the firmware locked away a lot of the performance and or features.

Before they really cheesed up the Linksys product lines, I used to make it a habit of looking at DD-Wrt & Tomatoe for the gimped down routers and switches that could be "unlocked".

You could put the open source firmware on it and it would unlock most if not all of the locked down features. it might not have all the ports of the business class units but it didn't make a difference to the performance and capabilities.


RE: Good
By dgingerich on 12/17/2012 4:53:10 PM , Rating: 2
Funny thing about the Cisco software EULA: they don't allow anyone to publish performance measurements of their products. There's a reason for that, but my company could be in big trouble if I mention why. Cisco has too many lawyers and not enough good engineers.


RE: Good
By RamarC on 12/17/2012 9:09:48 PM , Rating: 2
perfect opp for an employee buyout. get some cable co to make me their in-house wireless router (riding the cisco name since they do set-top boxes) -- brighthouse/time-warner stock them on-the-shelf! so it, along with retail mkt, would be a nice consistent biz without some corporate yahoo to screw it up!


RE: Good
By CZroe on 12/17/2012 12:59:54 PM , Rating: 3
Back when it first happened I saw it as a ploy to keep consumer-grade routers from ever being "good enough" for offices and such. Seeing the difference with and without custom firmware, I think it's "case closed." The stock firmware simply must be deliberately unreliable.

I remember when my Linksys 802.11b router had an issue that made it incompatible with XBOX Live. I was also first in line for the WRT54G "draft-G" router from Linksys. Rebooting at least once a week was entirely normal.


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