Report says Cisco offloading Linksys

Barclays hired to do the deed


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.

Similar topics

Narrower topics


Other stories you might like

  • Cisco warns of security holes in its security appliances
    Bugs potentially useful for rogue insiders, admin account hijackers

    Cisco has alerted customers to another four vulnerabilities in its products, including a high-severity flaw in its email and web security appliances. 

    The networking giant has issued a patch for that bug, tracked as CVE-2022-20664. The flaw is present in the web management interface of Cisco's Secure Email and Web Manager and Email Security Appliance in both the virtual and hardware appliances. Some earlier versions of both products, we note, have reached end of life, and so the manufacturer won't release fixes; it instead told customers to migrate to a newer version and dump the old.

    This bug received a 7.7 out of 10 CVSS severity score, and Cisco noted that its security team is not aware of any in-the-wild exploitation, so far. That said, given the speed of reverse engineering, that day is likely to come. 

    Continue reading
  • Datacenter networks: You'll manage them from the cloud, eventually, claims Cisco
    Nexus portfolio undergoes cloudy Software-as-a-Service revamp

    Cisco's Nexus Cloud will eventually allow customers to manage their datacenter networks entirely from the cloud, says the networking giant.

    The company unveiled the latest addition to its datacenter-focused Nexus portfolio at Cisco Live this week, where the product set got a software-as-a-service (SaaS) revamp.

    "It's targeted at network operations teams that need to manage, or want to manage, their Nexus infrastructure as well as their public-cloud network infrastructure in one spot," Cisco's Thomas Scheibe – VP product management, cloud networking for Nexus & ACI product lines – told The Register.

    Continue reading
  • Cisco execs pledge simpler, more integrated networks
    Is this the end of Switchzilla's dashboard creep?

    Cisco Live In his first in-person Cisco Live keynote in two years, CEO Chuck Robbins didn't make any lofty claims about how AI is taking over the network or how the company's latest products would turn networking on its head. Instead, the presentation was all about working with customers to make their lives easier.

    "We need to simplify the things that we do with you. If I think back to eight or ten years ago, I think we've made progress, but we still have more to do," he said, promising to address customers' biggest complaints with the networking giant's various platforms.

    "Everything we find that is inhibiting your experience from being the best that it can be, we're going to tackle," he declared, appealing to customers to share their pain points at the show.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022