Feeds

Report says Cisco offloading Linksys

Barclays hired to do the deed

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Cisco's long and inglorious retreat from the consumer business may be about to reach another miserable milestone, after Bloomberg reported Linksys is up for sale.

Cisco scooped up Linksys back in 2003 and used the brand to offer consumer and small business products. Cisco has done reasonably well in the latter market, but the consumer market has been a mess for the networking titan, with its 2009 purchase of camera concern Pure Digital Technologies and its Flip video camera going sour in just two years. A consumer video conferencing offering also fared poorly, leading CEO John Chambers to decide the company had no business outside the world of business.

Despite that decision, Linksys has continued to operate, sometimes as 'Linksys by Cisco', but has not moved beyond its small business and consumer roots. Nor did Cisco try to position it as an off-brand competitor.

Rumours about Linksys' demise have circulated before, as once Cisco moved swiftly to sell off or kill the rest of its consumer offerings it seemed natural for Linksys to be next. Those rumours came to nothing, making it a little difficult to trust Bloomberg's report that Barclays has been engaged to find a buyer.

This time the rumour at least seems well-timed given that Cisco has just acquired Meraki, a company whose WiFi assets are rather more modern and therefore more likely to be attractive to businesses of all sizes.

Ditching Linksys before Meraki comes aboard makes sense as it will help Cisco to present a less-confusing portfolio of WiFi brands.

Losing Linksys almost certainly won't hurt the networking giant. Absent imminent updates to the 802.11 standard, consumers and small businesses alike have little reason to contemplate new WiFi router purchases. The devices also run for years, while many punters probably have no idea maintenance like firmware updates are even possible, never mind necessary. It's therefore hard to see much upside in continuing to own Linksys, especially now that Meraki is aboard.

Cisco has declined to comment on the Bloomberg report. ®

Bootnote

Blogger Brad Reese says Belkin is expected to acquire Linksys.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
BT said to have pulled patent-infringing boxes from DSL network
Take your license demand and stick it in your ASSIA
Right to be forgotten should apply to Google.com too: EU
And hey - no need to tell the website you've de-listed. That'll make it easier ...
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.