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Cisco Rumored To Be Selling Linksys 180

Posted by timothy
from the buy-and-revive-the-linux-ones dept.
New submitter drdread66 writes "Cisco seems to be giving up on another technology acquisition. Hot on the heels of a full writedown for shuttering Flip Video, Cisco is now looking at another potentially huge loss from unloading Linksys."
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Cisco Rumored To Be Selling Linksys

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  • Good move. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 17, 2012 @07:56AM (#42312817)

    It was a brand dilution problem and confused SME's into assuming that they had the Cisco Enterprise grade equipment when Linksys are just toys.

    • Re:Good move. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by crafty.munchkin (1220528) on Monday December 17, 2012 @07:58AM (#42312835)
      It wouldn't have been such a problem if they'd kept calling things Linksys, and not put the Cisco Systems logo all over everything. Then releasing all the Linksys kit as Cisco SMB - that was just crazy.
      • Re:Good move. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by CAIMLAS (41445) on Monday December 17, 2012 @08:03AM (#42312863) Homepage

        No, that was never such a problem. Who cares about the badging? The problem was that Cisco tried to make Linksys products - which competed on price value first and foremost - into Cisco products - which compete on threat of failure and job security. Huge difference!

        The problems were:

        * they abandoned the home market through marketing and getting rid of all the products which appealed to home users
        * they increased the prices of the Linksys products - because, well, they're badged Cisco SMB now.
        * they didn't improve the Linksys products, they made most of them worse (the latest SMB routers are completely useless; I'd rather have a PIX501)

        It's not like Cisco has all that great a reputation in the SMB market, either. Fine for enterprise, but people who know SMB know that Cisco is stupid for SMB on so many different levels, the least of which is cost/benefit being so incredibly high vs. pretty much everything else.

        • Re:Good move. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 17, 2012 @08:38AM (#42312987)

          I don't work in IT and am simply an end user, but I can largely agree with this out of my own experience.

          I used to associate Linksys with something that worked, with no frills and a bottom 30% price tag. I just bought a router and would in the past have looked straight at the Linksys ones because it doesn't have to do any tricks. These days however I have no idea what I'm supposed to associate Linksys with.

          Illustrates the value of brand identity.

          • by cHiphead (17854)

            These days I just go to pfSense and get reliability with feature filled functionality.

          • Re:Good move. (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Chris Burke (6130) on Monday December 17, 2012 @03:12PM (#42316353) Homepage

            I used to count on Linksys for exactly three things: 1) it worked 2) it was affordable and 3) it worked with Linux out of the box. I became loyal to Linksys back in `98 when I bought a Linksys Ethernet card that had Linux drivers on the install diskette -- this was prior to those same drivers being incorporated into the Linux kernel distribution.

            Fast forward a few years, I wanted to buy a wireless card, and I saw the Linksys model. With the Cisco branding, but I thought, okay, so they bought Linksys, surely they kept the same features that I counted on Linksys for. And the answer was "no" on all three counts. Too expensive -- but hey, it'll work, and with Linux -- only it didn't work on Linux at all, and when I eventually found drivers from the chipset maker the card worked but then took a dump on me after less than a year (whereas I'm still using old Linksys ethernet cards for wired networking).

          • by SeaFox (739806)

            These days however I have no idea what I'm supposed to associate Linksys with.

            I associate them now with that stupid "cloud" firmware setup that lets them spy on you as part of the EULA and wont be buying another one of their routers. ...which is a shame because my current router (a Linksys WRT54gv5) is having issues losing power occasionally, and I think a break has developed in the AC adapter cord from playing around with it, a real shame despite some of the router's limitations. In other words, I'm a happy Linksys owner who's looking to this as a reason to upgrade to a new 802.11n

            • by doggo (34827)

              You know, you can probably buy a replacement AC adapter on eBay. I had to for my D-Link router. I got two. My D-Link router & separate WAP are still chugging along after... I lost count, many years.

        • Unfortunately the saying "no one ever got fired for buying Cisco" hung around after the Linksys acquisition and subsequent badging.
        • Re:Good move. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by bleh-of-the-huns (17740) on Monday December 17, 2012 @09:43AM (#42313337)

          I disagree, I think the Cisco SG300 and SG500 series switches are excellent value for what they are. A good quality introduction into managed switches with a decent feature set, and essentially running catos light (okay maybe light light would be better).

          I picked up 2 of them on Amazon a while back (20 port and 10 port), and they are perfect for the small business. The downside (at least from Cisco's standpoint), is that had they not had they not purchased Linksys, and retool the business class products into Cisco branded slightly upgraded small business devices at a much cheaper price point, those same businesses may have actually purchased the lower end Cisco enterprise products (Catalyst etc) at a much higher price point.

          So the move probably cannibalized some of those sales.

          Either way, having used Cisco, Juniper, Extreme, Fore and many more in a past life, I can say that the SG series are at least decent pieces of equipment. However, a caveat is that I never used Linksys business products before Cisco bought them, so I do not know how much better (or potentially worse) they have become outside of the pricing of said devices.

          • by mu51c10rd (187182) on Monday December 17, 2012 @11:24AM (#42314107)

            A good quality introduction into managed switches

            So...a gateway drug...?

          • by Khyber (864651)

            I believe the person you're replying to is talking about their routers, not switches.

          • by Vancorps (746090)

            Or go with an HP Procurve with web management so easy a caveman can do it combined with a lifetime warranty for less money and more bandwidth.

            Linksys strength was providing a great value with little features, this went away when Cisco bought them and started monkeying with DNS and managing crap from the cloud.

        • Re:Good move. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by colfer (619105) on Monday December 17, 2012 @10:13AM (#42313493)

          Linksys did not precisely compete on price value. In the realm of stores like Office Dept, Linksys was top end. After Cisco, the packaging and casing got more extreme, comparative prices went up, all the while bargain basement brands went from unreliable to fine. Didn't help that Linksys alienated the tech-savvy segment of the mass market by killing the routers that could easily be converted to open source community firmware.

          • Re:Good move. (Score:5, Insightful)

            by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday December 17, 2012 @12:23PM (#42314649) Journal

            I'm personally inclined to wonder if the Cisco Linksys acquisition was really an optimistic attempt to kneecap a potential competitor(Linksys certainly didn't have the really classy stuff, like redundant PSUs and such, nor did it have ios-equivalent commands to make your enterprise admins happy; but the capabilities of a relatively feeble ARM/MIPS SoC running linux were getting uncomfortably close to those of Cisco's ~$500-ish branch-office routers, and Linksys was putting out some definitely-adequate-for-the-money not-wholly-unmanaged rack switches and things) that ended up underestimating how quickly the utter crap segment would move toward adequacy.

            Before the market's maturation, there was some genuine shit being sold as consumer network gear(and there still is, if you get unlucky, though it's harder to feel cheated when your $15 allegedly-wireless-N router flakes out after 6 months than it was back when your $80-$100 allegedly-wireless-B router flakes out after 6 months of only actually connecting to your laptop half the time); but the basic strategy of shoving a modestly powerful SoC from one of the major wireless vendors onto a more-or-less reference design PCB and equipping it either with Linux(on the high end) or VXworks(for the real cheap seats) is something that even the nastiest bottom feeders can usually get mostly right. The firmware will usually be terrible; but the nasty bottom feeders also have no real incentive to lock out 3rd-party firmware, which has gotten pretty decent.

            If the consumer/SOHO networking market still looked like it did when Linksys was purchased, the buy might actually have been a good idea: assimilate the company that was getting a little uppity in terms of feature sets for the money, bump the prices on their classier gear, nerf the features on their lower end stuff, and call it a day. Trouble is, outside of the extremely low end(where margins are so tight that you can't even be sure that the wall-wart won't set your house on fire), shoving SoCs in plastic boxes is totally commodified and firmware(while each vendor seems to have a perverse desire to roll their own shitty version, rather than just slapping a lightly branded OpenWRT build on it) has gotten better over time, and still has a marginal cost of $0 to ship the nicest and most featureful build you have available to you. That's just not a place where Cisco can win: Cisco has a high-margin/lots of features market to protect, so they do incur a cost if they start shipping their good firmware on cheap hardware; but 'tenda' or 'trendnet' or any other "Who the hell are they?" outfit has nothing to lose and everything to gain if their firmware is as good as it can possibly be. They don't necessarily have the cash to actually write good firmware, and that firmware won't be running on good hardware; but even bad hardware can be pretty good, and the overall quality of embedded linuxes has gotten significantly better.

            • by timeOday (582209)
              So, what is Cisco to do? Keep cashing in on high-end stuff and just hope and pray that commoditization stops short of their core market? This is how most tech companies die, and often not for lack of trying.

              Microsoft got big by invading from the low end, so they've been paranoid about having that done to them since day 1. And yet it is happening before our eyes, with stagnation in the PC business and Android on mobile devices eating their lunch.

              • I don't have a good answer for them(nor is it assured that there even is one.) My point was just that the "Acquire Linksys and gimp their stuff" strategy is only viable if there is some barrier to entry that prevents another Linksys from rising in the first one's place. If there are sufficient barriers to entry, buying a competitor and reconfiguring their product line to protect your market can work. If not, though, the best you can hope for is that you delayed the change you are worried about, by picking o

        • by sribe (304414)

          ...the latest SMB routers are completely useless...

          I suspect that's the core of it. Can't disagree with your other points, but for me this is why my small business will never again attempt to use a Cisco product. Web-base config software that simply did not fucking work, forcing me to try to learn the basics of IOS, and then when I did get it configured (well, I think), it still didn't work right.

          • by CAIMLAS (41445)

            Probably not just you. IOS is known for, what's the word... being consistently inconsistent? It works almost the same across a wide range of devices, except when it doesn't. Lots of little documented stuff. I've got a friend who's had to make calls in to 2nd and 1st level Cisco support before due to this happening; they're not even well versed on it within Cisco for the low end Enterprise stuff, just forget getting decent support on the SMB crap...

      • Re:Good move. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by arielCo (995647) on Monday December 17, 2012 @08:19AM (#42312909)

        Any manager that buys Linksys branded hardware because "it's made by Cisco" should be fired or demoted, at least given a single stern warning if you're feeling generous.

        • Re:Good move. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Tridus (79566) on Monday December 17, 2012 @08:53AM (#42313077) Homepage

          Since Linksys was actually a home user brand, that problem didn't exist until Cisco came in and started slapping "Cisco" all over the product.

          Brands are targeted at a market for a reason.Linksys pre-acquisition made perfectly serviceable home user grade hardware at a good price. Cisco totally screwed it up.

          • by ifrag (984323)

            Linksys pre-acquisition made perfectly serviceable home user grade hardware.

            This was demonstrably false in earlier Linksys "router" hardware. The first "router" I used from Linksys required bi-weekly reboots to function at all. None of the firmware updates improved this, and some releases even made it worse.

            Perhaps the quality has improved in later models, I wasn't willing to give it a second chance.

            • by Tridus (79566)

              May depend on the model, I had a WRT54G that I could ignore for months at a time, and typically it only needed attention because the ADSL line it was connected to got flaky.

              • Re:Good move. (Score:5, Interesting)

                by Skater (41976) on Monday December 17, 2012 @10:27AM (#42313585) Homepage Journal

                May depend on the model, I had a WRT54G that I could ignore for months at a time, and typically it only needed attention because the ADSL line it was connected to got flaky.

                Heck, I'm still using a WRT54G (1.1 I think) for my home network that I bought in 2001ish. A couple years back, I updated the firmware to support WPA encryption and it still works perfectly - I never have any problems with it, I don't need to reboot it, it just works. (I should note I use it only as a wireless access point, not a router.) I'm watching prices on a dual-band N with gigabit ethernet router to replace it, but so far I haven't gotten around to it, in part because I hear so much that newer routers aren't as reliable.

              • by ifrag (984323)

                May depend on the model, I had a WRT54G

                I'm talking about BEFS... generation hardware, pre-WRT. I think by the time WRT rolled around they finally started to fix some of their garbage.

              • by zyzko (6739)

                WRT54G was a nice piece of hardware - in the sense that the early models (and later the GL) had DD-WRT / OpenWRT option, which brought many very nice features to a consumer-priced box. And good for you that you could get yours stable - for me the best feature of custom fw was the nightly reboot feature. After my ADSL was upgraded from 8/1 to 24/2 the box would just choke when using bittorrent after a day or two of use, and my friends have had similar experience with the box. Good if you have a slow internet

        • But in reality, being able to claim "It's made by Cisco" is the reason they DON'T get fired or demoted.

        • I think it may have been more of an issue, being that Cisco branded it, it was under their Cisco Contracts so any basic purchasing manager would see two items right next to each other with a rather large price difference, and they will go with the cheap one.
          A lot of businesses don't have a good IT staff, or their staff has nothing to do with purchasing decisions. They may say they need a Gigabit router, however when it goes to purchasing they will see the $1000.00 Cisco and the $150.00 LinkSys both a gigabi

      • by Sulphur (1548251) on Monday December 17, 2012 @08:34AM (#42312967)

        It wouldn't have been such a problem if they'd kept calling things Linksys, and not put the Cisco Systems logo all over everything. Then releasing all the Linksys kit as Cisco SMB - that was just crazy.

        A route to disaster?

        • It wouldn't have been such a problem if they'd kept calling things Linksys, and not put the Cisco Systems logo all over everything. Then releasing all the Linksys kit as Cisco SMB - that was just crazy.

          A route to disaster?

          Try issuing the Windows command "route /print" and see.

        • by Chrisq (894406)

          It wouldn't have been such a problem if they'd kept calling things Linksys, and not put the Cisco Systems logo all over everything. Then releasing all the Linksys kit as Cisco SMB - that was just crazy.

          A route to disaster?

          and RIP [wikipedia.org] to the Linksys brand.

      • A very good move. Our company had a blanket "no Linksys" rule - because everything they made was utter junk. We initially started out buying a fair amount of their smart switches, because the price was so compelling. However they failed so frequently, we actually had to issue an edict that no more Linksys products were allowed to be purchased.
    • Re:Good move. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Monday December 17, 2012 @08:19AM (#42312911) Homepage Journal

      This is just crap. The first thing that happened when Linksys was bought was that the quality went down the toilet. It happened *immediately* and too quickly for it to be a coinicidence. If there was and "dilution" problem it was because Cisco wanted it to be there.

      Linksys put out one of the first wi-fi routers that could be modified and had real power. The first outdoor wi-fi system I ever put out as a newbie was using WRS hardware. Linksys was a real competitor to Cisco as they were putting out very affordable hardware that wasn't garbage. Small business was using Linksys as an alternative to bloated and hard to use Cisco products.

      I don't recommend any Linksys products these days from basic 5 pt switches on up because Cisco made sure they were crap for their own reasons.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by war4peace (1628283)

        I have a Linksys WRT120N.
        It sucks fat cock. Wireless network fails on a daily basis and on two machines it never reconnects. Once a week, Wireless module goes down completely, I have to reset the router. About twice a month, my wired bandwidth slows to a crawl (10-50 kB/s) and I have to... you know... reset the router. And about every 6-7 weeks, my PPPoE "forgets" credentials, and I have to enter them again, and... you know... reset the router.

        Furthermore, for the last 6 months I was unable to change large

        • Re:Good move. (Score:5, Informative)

          by SJHillman (1966756) on Monday December 17, 2012 @09:09AM (#42313149)

          I have a (refurbished) WRT150N, and have bought two others for parents/grandparents. With the stock firmware, they're everything you described. However, with DD-WRT, they've been some of the most reliable devices I've worked with, up to and including Cisco's enterprise hardware. I've had a similar experience with one of their newer models (E2000 or something? I forget the actual number) - ultimate crap with the stock firmware but excellent performance and reliability under DD-WRT.

          • Hmm... maybe I should try that out. I am however more inclined to buy a new one because every time I look at this current router I have I get goose bumps.

          • I bought a WRT610N refurbished a few years ago. It was a V1. I found out they made a V2 because the V1's CPU was too slow to run wireless N at full speed, and running DD-WRT on it was even slower. It also ran pretty hot and had internal antennas. It didn't seem to like DD-WRT much but that was probably because it was new and not well supported yet.

            I replaced it with an ASUS (N-16?) which has external antennas and has worked great. Supposedly the ASUS firmware is bad but I wouldn't know because I replac

      • I have a Linksys E1200 router and can verify first hand that it's a POS. Every few weeks it flakes out and some, but not all machines connected to it loose access to the network. It's on the newest firmware, and I even factory reset it and reconfigured everything as a last ditch attempt to address it. I had a bad feeling when when I went to upgrade the firmware and it prompted for which "hardware version" I had...1 or 2. Mine didn't indicate which, and it took a little doing to find it was "version 1".

    • by guruevi (827432)

      Cisco gear is as much a toy as Linksys gear. Especially once they started taking Linksys product lines and sell them as full-blown Cisco gear (especially the small business gear).

      Cisco simply has brand recognition like Microsoft or Oracle. Their products suck, all technical people know it but managers keep buying it because it's "Enterprise"-grade and they've either locked them in or they've convinced them other stuff won't work as well with existing infrastructure.

      Netgear, HP, Juniper and a host of others

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The Cicsco purchase of Linksys was closely mirrored by the EMC purchase of Iomega. Will EMC look to unload Iomega now? Anyone wanting to buy one would likely be interested in the other.

    • by symbolset (646467) *
      I'm at a loss as to why anybody on Earth would want anything to do with iomega. Maybe you could explain it to me. Like I'm five.
  • Firmware (Score:5, Informative)

    by cgt (1976654) on Monday December 17, 2012 @08:01AM (#42312851)
    I'm glad they're suffering. They deserve to suffer for their decision to force their evil cloud firmware on people.
    • by symbolset (646467) *
      This issue didn't get all the attention it deserved. And now it likely won't.
      • Probably because anyone who would know why it was an issue already knew that Linksys gear was shit from, pretty much, the moment Cisco bought it.

        • Re:Firmware (Score:4, Insightful)

          by semi-extrinsic (1997002) <asmunder&stud,ntnu,no> on Monday December 17, 2012 @09:39AM (#42313311)
          Or we knew that flashing DD-WRT instead of the PoS Cisco firmware would remove the problem within one hour of the device arriving at our domiciles. (I bought a Linksys WRT160NL just a month ago, works perfectly fine with a proper firmware. Current uptime 29 days.)
          • To be fair, it only removes the software problems. In my experience, build quality also suffered (cooling issues, radio 'brownouts' on Wifi devices, etc..) and, sadly, aren't repaired by firmware.

  • It's about time. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by philip.paradis (2580427) on Monday December 17, 2012 @08:01AM (#42312853)

    Linksys produced some decent gear prior to the acquisition. After Cisco bought the company, the default answer for any sort of serious trouble with SOHO gear became "oh, I see you're referring to our Linksys brand; if you're serious about small office or branch office communications, you need to upgrade to our HOLY SHIT THAT'S EXPENSIVE Cisco brand gear instead." This applied nearly universally to cases where a prior generation piece of Linksys gear had performed quite well in the same role. Here's to hoping the brand can get back to its roots instead of serving as a loss leader for more expensive gear.

    • Re:It's about time. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by BlueBlade (123303) <mafortier@nOSpam.gmail.com> on Monday December 17, 2012 @08:21AM (#42312917)

      On the other hand, there's a reason Cisco gear is expensive: it's enterprise class. A few months ago I went to a client's site to help expend a microwave network. Prior to doing the upgrade, I asked what gear was running at the remote location. "It's all Cisco switches and routers!", I was told. So we start working, installing new fiber lines and antennas. At one point, I needed to remotely shut down a switchport in one of remote locations to prevent a spanning loop. I try ssh, then telnet, no connection. I try http, and what do I see, it's one of those "Linksys by Cisco" SMB switch. That particular model didn't allow me to shut down a single port, nor did it allow me to re-allocate the limited PoE wattage to new equipment. Also, as far as I could see, no real diagnostic info on the ports, other than a packet counter and up/down status.

      We lost almost 2 hours to send someone to drive to the location and back, just to unplug a network cable. Now, I'm not going to say that Linksys switches aren't perfectly fine in some small business environments, but once you start having a big network they're a headache. Rebranding consumer-grade equipment with the Cisco trademark was one of the stupidest decision I've seen a large company make. Every networking professional I've talked to thought it was a terrible idea; it's almost impossible to see how management could ever even consider the idea, let alone go ahead with it.

      It's decisions like this one that make me think that Cisco's hegemony in the network is coming to an end. You can't have management that clueless and thrive. Also, they're still acting like they're the only game in town, with prices that are borderline ridiculous and byzantine licensing rules (ASA licensing, I'm looking at you!). It's a good thing Juniper has grown up and is now making some pretty awesome routers for very good prices. On the switch level, Cisco is still ahead of the pack, but other vendors like HP are stepping up.

      I think it's sad, because Cisco hardware tends to be awesome. Hopefully Cisco can go back to having more engineers making some business decisions, because the current leadership certainly doesn't understand the moving market.

      • by philip.paradis (2580427) on Monday December 17, 2012 @08:29AM (#42312951)

        Speaking as someone who deals with Cisco gear on nearly a daily basis, I fully agree with the premise of people needing to understand the difference between Cisco gear and alternatives designed for smaller environments. That said, most of the issues with Linksys products in recent years have been attributable to Cisco neglecting the hell out of Linksys branded product lines, and simply using the resulting failures to attempt to sell Cisco branded gear. It's been truly shameful, and I'd love to see it come to a stop.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by b1t r0t (216468)

        Admittedly, one of the reasons Cisco bought them was because so many people didn't need maximum-speed minimum-latency ASIC-based routing (and certainly not L3 switching) in an era when 32 bit CPUs were cheap enough for consumer gear; being able to remotely get a CLI on a device in another city and individually control ports; or even the plethora of different standards to link multiple offices. (A simple watchdog timer would have been nice in Linksys gear, though.) A good part of the price of Cisco gear can

      • by EmagGeek (574360) <gterich@aol.LISPcom minus language> on Monday December 17, 2012 @09:32AM (#42313263) Journal

        That's Cisco's own damn fault. The hardware in the Linksys is perfectly capable of doing all of those things, except Cisco simply chooses to disable that functionality in firmware to coerce you into buying the EXACT SAME HARDWARE with different, much more expensive, non-crippled firmware.

        Even the cheaper Micrel or Realtek switch fabrics support things like individual port enable and PoE allocation, and feature-rich diagnostics via a serial register interface.

        They're falling into the same trap that automakers are. "If you want a $400 sunroof, you have to buy the $4500 leather and NAV package."

        If you want to be able to turn of an individual port, you have to buy the $5000 switch with eleventy features you don't want, rather than the $100 switch.

      • by Nethead (1563)

        Take a look at some of the TrendNet. Their managed layer 2 gigE line is good and cheap.

      • by nabsltd (1313397)

        On the other hand, there's a reason Cisco gear is expensive: it's enterprise class. [anecdote snipped]

        And yet, I can do everything you needed to do on the Netgear managed equipment I use at home, and it costs less than the "Cisco Small Business" equipment that couldn't do the job for you. Compared to "real" Cisco equipment, it may not be as powerful, but for the target market of "small business", it's more than enough.

        Sometimes, too, less powerful is better. I can't tell you the number of times I watched Cisco-certified people take 20-30 minutes to make configuration changes to Cisco equipment that would

        • by sirsnork (530512)

          Which is fine until you need those features. They may have also taken 20-30 mins to make absolutely sure they were doing the right thing and it wasn't going to break anything. Where as you would just change it, and see what happens and if it broke something, then you'd look to fix it.

          Not breaking something in the first place is something you learn after you've broken a couple of large systems by not fully understanding the problem

    • by Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) on Monday December 17, 2012 @09:00AM (#42313111)

      I work for a large enterprise. We "should" be buying more expensive gear. However...

      We had a series of small conference rooms that often hosted meetings requiring WIFI access to one of our "play" networks that's isolated from most everything else. We bought a couple of the SMB Linksys/Cisco wireless access points. I believe they were about $500 each. We immediately had problems with them dropping connections, even with small numbers of users. A call to Cisco resulted in "um...you're at megacorp? Buy our enterprise gear. With your discount, surely you can "upgrade" for only a few thousand". And that was that. There was little effort put into solving the problem other than trying to shoo us into buying more expensive equipment. We ultimately punted them all, returned them for a full refund, and are now using access points from Asus that cost us less than 1/2 of the price and work flawlessly.

      Lesson learned.

      • Whoever you were talking to.. you got screwed.. why spend $500 a piece for Linksys branded Cisco equipment, when you could have picked up Cisco Aeronet 2600's (or the equiv back whenever), for around $600, and that is not even the lower end of the Aeronet range...

    • by Vrallis (33290)

      Actually, Linksys *used to* produce some decent gear a couple years before the acquisition. In the last 2-4 years prior their quality went completely to crap. I've always wondered what the hell Cisco was thinking basically damaging their reputation by continuing to manufacture the same garbage Linksys had been producing the last couple years.

  • Cisco never did anything with Linksys anyway. Cisco treated Linksys as a red-headed step child. Often the firmware updates didn't fix the bugs I was hoping. The IPSEC implementation on many of their Linksys brand routers is still broken and I could go on and on.
  • by Tridus (79566) on Monday December 17, 2012 @09:00AM (#42313113) Homepage

    They totally screwed up this acquisition from beginning to end. Back when they bought Linksys, it was a highly competitive brand in its market segmenet. Now it's a joke, with poor quality hardware by the standard of other home networking gear, overpriced, and features total nonsense like cloud-based router configuration that nobody sane asked for. Cisco's answer to all this is "oh, you just need to spend 5x more on Cisco gear instead."

    Why would I do that in my house, Cisco? I'll just buy from the competition instead and wind up with a negative view of your entire brand. I don't know if Linksys has any talent left in the company after how badly Cisco has screwed it up, but I hope they can recover once they're put under competent management. I still have fond memories of the old WRT54, which worked so well for so many years.

  • by JTD121 (950855) * on Monday December 17, 2012 @09:13AM (#42313171) Homepage
    All the people here on /. should know that most recent-ish 'Linksys' gear is supported by aftermarket firmware; DD-WRT and Tomato among others. Granted, a lot of people might not know the difference, but they run much much better than the shit that ships on them.
    Hell, I'm still using a WRT54G from forever ago, and it's been online almost constantly (barring my tweaking and futzing up the install occasionally) since mid-2005. No slow-downs, no hiccups (not counting misconfigurations), etc, etc. And this is old old MIPS with 16MB RAM, guys. You know in the newer (WRT120N was mentioned above) hardware should at the very least perform as well as previous products, if not better. But it doesn't. Flash your firmware, and see the difference. Seriously. I'm sure if they cam pre-installed with something like Tomato, out-of-the-box, Linksys wouldn't have this weird brand identity crisis. But of course, Cisco and open-source are at polar opposites of the world, it seems. Also, WTF Slashdot? It's 2012, please get a WYSIWYG editor, instead of arcane HTML formatting and such. Line breaks.
    • Yeah, I've got two old reliable WRT54G's, comparitly sucky V8's no less. One of theem stopped working "right" about a year after purchase, replaced it with the other one which has never had problems. I eventually flashed the first one with DD-WRT which apparently fixed it and it now serves as a "bridge" I love those things.

      I'd replace them with N gear, but when Cisco bought Linksys, they futzed up everything...the prices went up, the form factors changed, and even the model naming/numbering is different.

    • Wireless N seemed to have brought a whole class of shitty routers out of Linksys (and plenty of other manufactures too). Very odd to find the same model with a completely different type of chip inside that's not compatible with DD-WRT.

      It's like Cisco spent $500M to get rid of a competitor, they just did it really slowly so no one else popped up right in their place.

  • by Colourspace (563895) on Monday December 17, 2012 @09:23AM (#42313217)
    with my reading-fu, but I SWEAR I first parsed that as 'Cisco rumoured to be selling Kidneys'.. I mean, they really stooped low this time..
  • I have the Linksys E3000 WiFi router and have not had any quality issues. Part of this may be because I refused to install the push-based firmware that caused issues for a lot of people.

    I did notice a lot of features being dropped from the Linksys line once they became Cisco branded. One of the biggest examples was removing CLI from some of the higher-end Linksys switches. Of course, this was to prevent a loss of sales for Cisco's enterprise lineup. The result was that a lot of SMBs went with Netgear an

    • by C_Kode (102755)

      I have the Linksys E3000 WiFi router and have not had any quality issues. Part of this may be because I refused to install the push-based firmware that caused issues for a lot of people.

      I did notice a lot of features being dropped from the Linksys line once they became Cisco branded. One of the biggest examples was removing CLI from some of the higher-end Linksys switches. Of course, this was to prevent a loss of sales for Cisco's enterprise lineup. The result was that a lot of SMBs went with Netgear and D-Link.

      I have the E3000 also. The one thing I don't like about it is it runs very hot. I have to tilt it up on it's side to keep it cool. If I don't, I notice that my WiFi connections act flaky sometimes.

      I used the base firmware for a long while, but finally switched to DD-WRT about a year and a half ago.

  • by loufoque (1400831) on Monday December 17, 2012 @09:49AM (#42313383)

    I used to work for a company that was bought by Cisco: Tandberg.
    They cancelled all the high-end Tandberg projects because they were in competition with the products they had developed internally, despite Tandberg's products being vastly superior.
    Cisco's products are crap but they want to brand themselves as quality, and they want all their acquisitions to serve the low-end market.

    As a result all of the founders and star employees left the company. Several of them used the money they got from the IPO to make new companies in the same sector.

  • Cisco is used to fleecing companies just like Oracle does. Buying into consumer market will never get you those types of margins. (don't even bring up Apple, that fad is already on the down swing)

    Even in the Enterprise world, there are good options opposite Cisco these days. I've replacement most of my Cisco equipment with Juniper and have been quite happy with them and in some cases far happier than I was with Cisco.

    • I don't think they wanted to become a consumer company. They just wanted to keep the low end products 'low' so they didn't compete with the enterprise offerings.

  • I'm apparently dyslexic. I was scanning the page and read "Cisco Rumored To Be Selling Kidneys".

    I thought, "Man, they really are in trouble."

  • I never understood why Linksys, DLink et al don't push hard into brownware. Imagine a Blue-Ray with buildt in DNLA and powered by POE. Only one cable, no separate power supply needed. DVB-T? Put a box in the attic and connect it wih a single ethernet cable. Make an amplifier with a POE switch up its ass, and a DNLA client. Could be the start of a very nice product line.
  • by MobyDisk (75490) on Monday December 17, 2012 @11:16AM (#42314027) Homepage

    From reading people's stories, it sounds like Cisco succeeded in every way. Linksys' made high-end consumer grade networking equipment. Cisco made enterprise grade networking equipment. Linksys posed two risks to Cisco: One is that Linksys could move into Cisco's territory if they started making enterprise grade equipment. The other is that enterprise users might find that Linksys equipment would be good enough in some cases, eating into Cisco's sales.

    Rather than risk that, Cisco bought Linksys and ran them into the ground to increase the size of the gap between their enterprise grade equipment and the nearest competitor. If they succeed in selling the company off, they not only succeeded but they recoup a part of their investment. And if Linksys' brand is soiled then even a good buyer with good management will be stuck.

    It sounds like it was a good plan.

    • by Rogerborg (306625)

      Bingo. Cisco could have poured $500 million down the drain just to shut Linksys down. But they'd have faced the possibility of the management and talent leaving en masse to form a new competitor, plus the costs of "regulatory capturing" the Gubmint TLAs to keep awkward competition questions at bay.

      Instead they drained the life and spirit out of Linksys, the talent will have long since departed in a piecemeal fashion, and now they can safely render down the husk and sell it by the pound for kibbles and b

  • It seemed like 10 years ago, Cisco gear was everywhere, even in small places -- because everyone had to have an access router and Cisco was a very common choice.

    Once DSL and cable-based internet became common for business, Cisco started disappearing from those environments. Their PIX line had some penetration, but it was complicated to manage compared to a wide variety of web GUI devices and the support agreements were expensive.

    In switching they seemed less prevalent until you got into organizations that

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