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« More Rigorous Testing Shows Distance Drop with Draft N | Main | Dell Takes a Draft N Dive? »

June 12, 2006

Wall Street Journal Runs Down the Problems with Draft N Gear

By Glenn Fleishman

The Journal’s Don Clark cites chapter and verse from the book of Don’t Buy Draft N: Clark reports that companies are selling Draft N gear because they’re panicked they’ll be left behind, not because it fills an important missing piece for consumers. That would be existing MIMO gear that doesn’t pretend compliance with an unfinished standard in a way that the standards body itself is meaningless. Regular MIMO gear offers range with enough throughput at prices half to a third the cost of Draft N.

Listen to what NetGear tells the Journal: ” ‘Everyone is saying this might be the next big thing, and I’m not going to let someone else drive it,’ said David Henry, a director of product marketing at Netgear Inc., one of the companies selling hardware based on the new technology.” Very customer focused.

Clark echoes what I’ve been saying for many weeks: “Sellers of DraftN [sic] products believe they can accommodate any changes in the eventual standard, by modifying software that users can download for their hardware. But hardware makers aren’t offering buyers a guarantee that devices they buy can be upgraded.”

No guarantee that the hundreds of dollars you spend on equipment today will be upgradable to the final, ratified standard tomorrow—the standard that will form the basis of either nearly identical or actually identical equipment these same manufacturers will say once Draft N has been pulled from the shelves and sent to the recycling depot.

There’s no guarantee that chips will need to be replaced. But there’s no assurance they won’t. In which case a hardware upgrade guarantee seems like the least these companies might offer early adopters.

Posted by Glennf at June 12, 2006 10:03 PM

Categories: Draft N

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