just brew it! wrote:
Shining Arcanine wrote:
There was nothing Linksys sold that Cisco could not produce better at the same price points in the first place and Cisco had a vested interest in crippling Linksys, so Cisco's acquisition of Linksys could only have been to neutralize the threat Linksys posed to it. Linksys was a victim of its own success.
I'm going to have to disagree with you here. Cisco previously was focused primarily on the enterprise market, while Linksys produced primarily consumer gear. They really are different markets, with different requirements. Being a major player in one of those markets does not necessarily imply competence in the other.
Did you know that before the acquisition, businesses were beginning to substitute Linksys products for Cisco products on the strength of the open source firmware where-ever it made sense, which was affecting Cisco's revenues? They also reduced the RAM and flash that these routers had, making them less capable. RAM was reduced enough that the router could no longer implement NAT well and they lowered flash memory to the point where you could not run Linux and have a decent router anymore. At some point, the public outrage and movement toward other companies' products pushed them to offer the WRT54GL, which gave the routers the original 4MB of flash that they had, except with less RAM, so they could not function as effectively, which ensured that people stayed on Linksys routers, but that the routers were no longer the threat they were to Cisco.
As Wikipedia says:
The WRT54GS is nearly identical to WRT54G except for additional RAM, flash memory, and SpeedBooster software. Versions 1 to 3 of this router have 8 MB of flash memory. Since most third parties' firmware only use up to 4 MB flash, a JFFS2-based read/write filesystem can be created and used on the remaining 4 MB free flash. This allows for greater flexibility of configurations and scripting, enabling this small router to both load balance multiple ADSL lines (multi homed) or to be run as a hardware layer 2 load balancer (with appropriate third party firmware).
That model was crippled, going from 8MB of flash to 2MB of flash, with RAM halved to 16MB. While that was more RAM than the WRT54G, the 2MB flash could not hold a useful Linux OS, so the routers were severely crippled for anything other than the proprietary OS Vxworks, which could fit in 2MB of flash and was what was introduced as a replacement to Linux. The WRT54GL models on the other hand could still run Linux, but they had so little memory that they could no longer do the same things. That ensured that the threat Linksys posed to Cisco was neutralized. After all, you could no longer use them as load balancers.
Disclaimer: I over-analyze everything, so try not to be offended if I over-analyze something you wrote.