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Cisco to Kill Linksys Brand Name 262

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the alas-we-hardly-knew-ye dept.
Mav sent in this article that opens, "In a roundtable with the European press, John Chambers confirmed the "end of life" of the Linksys name, being replaced by the new and redesigned Cisco branding." He explains, "It will all come over time into a Cisco brand. The reason we kept Linksys' brand because it was better known in the US than even Cisco was for the consumer. As you go globally there's very little advantage in that."
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Cisco to Kill Linksys Brand Name

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  • by 0racle (667029) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @09:05PM (#20005415)
    Does the consumer stuff get better, or the enterprise stuff get worse?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 26, 2007 @09:07PM (#20005437)
      Enterprise stuff gets worse, consumer stuff stays shitty, prices of both go up.
    • by woodchip (611770) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @09:08PM (#20005447)
      The consumer stuff stays crappy but you pay 20% more for the cooler enterprise-level brand name.
      • by toleraen (831634) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @09:12PM (#20005481)
        But at least I can finally make use of my CCNP when setting up my friend's wireless!
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I don't know about their other consumer stuff, but I really like my WRT54G wireless router. Especially since they provided the GPL'd software, and there are so many after-market features added through the magic of open source.
        • I don't know about their other consumer stuff, but I really like my WRT54G wireless router. Especially since they provided the GPL'd software

          I think there were two versions of the WRT54G, one with enough puff to run the good stuff and a "cheapened" (later) version that turned into a brick if you breathed on it due to a lower memory spec. The early ones were good, the latter kind of sucked.

        • by fractoid (1076465)

          I don't know about their other consumer stuff, but I really like my WRT54G wireless router. Especially since they provided the GPL'd software, and there are so many after-market features added through the magic of open source.

          I had one of those, and, well, my mileage varied. The first one I had brickified itself (I'd just updated to the firmware version that supported Telstra's braindead heartbeat system, it worked fine for a week or two then refused to load the firmware even after a full reset, which should have kicked it back to factory condition). I took it back to the warehouse under warranty, three months later they were still waiting to hear back from Linksys so they gave me a new one. That one worked, kinda - it would be

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by empaler (130732)

            The Linksys products I've encountered have always seemed just a little unpolished, with variable QC... then again I got it for fifty bucks, so I can't really complain.

            Repeat after me:
            I will not confuse price with quality. Just because big corporations tell me otherwise, I know better.

            Seriously, one ought to be able to trust that a piece of hardware purchased works without hitch - no matter the price. For the free market to function, companies that produce faulty hardware should suffer for it.

      • I could have just had good luck over the years, but I've always thought Linksys was the best of the cheap networking brands. Friends with Netgear routers and APs have complained again and again, and I always recommend Linksys to people who ask me for advice. I haven't heard any complaints from them, either. My only major complaint was one NIC that exploded (seriously - literally) wrecking the soundblaster live beside it. It is true though that most of this happened a few years ago, when Linksys was still re
        • The company I work for has released a system with wireless networking that originally relied on cheap D-Link WLAN routers. Lots of breakdowns in the field.
          The D-Link has subsequently been replaced with a cheap Linksys. As far as I know, the Linksys routers are far more reliable.
    • no, and yes.
    • by Short Circuit (52384) <mikemol@gmail.com> on Thursday July 26, 2007 @10:04PM (#20005819) Homepage Journal
      My prediction: They'll attempt to build consumer-grade products using their enterprise technology. Because it won't be a perfect fit, you'll get quirks in the consumer-grade products. The consumer-grade division will make demands on the engineers behind the enterprise technology, to get a better-fitting product. The changes to the enterprise technologies will inadvertently cause problems in those technologies fitting in with their enterprise customers.

      Long story short, Cisco's enterprise products will lose market share to their competitors, and Cisco will do one of three things: 1) They'll pull out of the consumer market and focus on their enterprise customers. 2) They'll work to keep their enterprise and consumer product divisions separate, even if it means duplication of effort. 3) They'll do neither, decrease in value, and get bought up by an equity firm to be sold off for parts.
      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        Seems to me like it might dilute the enterprise-grade product appeal if they start slapping it on consumer products. Regardless of the actual quality, you'll see a lot of people start to associate Cisco with home networking, and not with real enterprise hardware. Just like MS sells Datacentre Server, which is supposed to be for really big servers, most people don't equate windows with being a real Datacenter OS, because it's what they see on their computers at home, with histories of blue screens and sec
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by imemyself (757318)
      It's a marketing change. Unless you base the quality of products off of the logo on the side, it doesn't matter. Most of the products will probably be kept separate. You can't exactly market Catalyst 6500's towards consumers, and no large business will by little five port Linksys switches.
    • by jollyreaper (513215) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @10:53PM (#20006107)

      Does the consumer stuff get better, or the enterprise stuff get worse?
      I think we know the answer there. There's a reason why most companies try to keep professional and consumer gear segmented. Consumers may not even know what they're looking for, especially when it comes to geek stuff like networking gear. Professionals are going to be the ones who usually see through the bullshit, will notice when a trusted brand starts to suck eggs, and will move on with barely a tear shed for nostalgia. Cisco's branding is "we're big boy professional gear so you're going to pay to get into our league." Given the way these trends usually go, this just means that the consumer-end stuff will be typical cost-cutting Mickey Mouse bullshit and the pointy-haired bosses and marketing weasels will push for that same approach in the professional end.

      Anyone read the articles about how Wal-Mart would approach companies whose brands are positioned as high-quality and asked them to spank together some cheap-ass China-made crap to market under that brand-name? The article I'm thinking of in particular is Snapper lawnmowers. The Snapper people finally told Wal-Mart where to stick it because it was impossible to make a quality mower at a Wal-Mart price, they'd have had to whore the company name and ruin their reputation to do it.

      Hopefully I'm overreacting here and this won't even be a speed-bump for the company. But I'm thinking back to that topic yesterday about "dead companies with good products" and my Spidey sense is tingling.
  • One word - Inprise (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tomhudson (43916) < ... <nosduh.arabrab>> on Thursday July 26, 2007 @09:06PM (#20005429) Journal

    Borland - Inprise - Borland.

    • Except that would be more like Cisco changing its name:

      Cisco - Expresea! - Cisco

      Cisco is one of the most widely known brand names in the computing industry.
      • by tomhudson (43916) < ... <nosduh.arabrab>> on Thursday July 26, 2007 @10:02PM (#20005805) Journal

        They have two great brand names. It would be silly to kill one of them off, since they use them to segment their markets. If they were both aimed at the same buyers (a la "Nissan" and "Datsun" back in the day) I could understand rationalizing the nameplate, but this is just a waste.

        If they wanted to, they could always do "Linksys by Cisco" - reaping the benefits of both brand names.

        • by PeelBoy (34769)
          BTW Nissan still uses Infinity to segment its market in the America.
          • Infinity tends to be higer end (ie higher priced) cars.

            Nissan and Datsun were in the same basic price range.
            • by rs79 (71822) <hostmaster@open-rsc.org> on Friday July 27, 2007 @12:13AM (#20006571) Homepage
              Um, Nissas and Datsun were the same thing. They just changed the name from Datsun to Nissan.

              Forgive me if I'm being really stupid here and missed something obvious that I shouldn't have. It's hot and I may have eaten some dodgy hamburger.

              In fact if nobody ever hears from me again - it WAS the hamburrger.
              • Nissan produced trucks under both names at the same time (though not cars). They were about the same price point. Eventually, they killed the Datsun name here and just used Nissan.
        • by CastrTroy (595695)
          Even HP still sells the Compaq brand. These are well known names, they shouldn't just throw away a good name.
        • by AntiNazi (844331) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @10:44PM (#20006043) Homepage

          If they wanted to, they could always do "Linksys by Cisco" - reaping the benefits of both brand names.

          They are already doing this. I have one sitting on the desk next to me. Doesn't say "by Cisco," but it has the Cisco Systems name/logo on it along side the Linksys one. Of course it is no longer functional. Good thing they are stackable so I can build lego like creations with the pile of dead Linksys devices.

          • They are already doing this. I have one sitting on the desk next to me. Doesn't say "by Cisco," but it has the Cisco Systems name/logo on it along side the Linksys one. Of course it is no longer functional. Good thing they are stackable so I can build lego like creations with the pile of dead Linksys devices.
            Call me when you get enough spares to build a giant-scale model of a Linksys router. I think you might just make the front page on Slashdot.
        • by Nimey (114278)
          I thought s/Datsun/Nissan/ because Datsuns had a poor reputation for quality.
          • by Ryokurin (74729)
            No, it was originally done to distance the name from Nissan which supplied the Japanese military in WWII, and the name was changed back in 1981 in the name of having a worldwide identity. The name change is actually considered one of the biggest business blunders of all time since it basically threw away over 30 years of American identity.
          • I thought s/Datsun/Nissan/ because Datsuns had a poor reputation for quality.

            In the northeastern US they had a rep for under-engineered bodywork. The 10 guage uncoated steel body on the 240Z did not stand up well to New England Winters. But the rest of the car was rock solid and the drivetrains were downright bullet proof. IMHO, if you didn't mind cutting out some rust every once in a while, Datsuns were by far the most robust Japanese imports of the 70s and early 80s. They were also the fastest and had

            • by rs79 (71822)
              "240Z did not stand up well to New England Winters. But the rest of the car was rock solid and the drivetrains were downright bullet proof"

              The 510's were quite bulletproof but the 240Z engines tended to warp heads if they overheated once, which a lot of them did. Or rather the ones my friends owned did. The engine was an almostg direct copy of the one in a W108 Mercedes ('cept that had an iron head) and was otherwise pretty bulletproof.

              As for the rust, well, um yeah. I still HAVE a 108 Mercedes and I've s
    • borland - inprise - borland - codegear actually.
    • Borland - Inprise - Borland - Code Gear (for the development stuff).

      But they did one (slightly OT) good thing between all the namechanging:
      they released a version of Interbase as Open Source, which has grown into the Firebird RDBMS. See
      http://www.firebirdsql.org/ [firebirdsql.org]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 26, 2007 @09:07PM (#20005433)
    With their iPhone breaking network at Duke.
  • by bconway (63464) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @09:08PM (#20005445) Homepage
    The uninformed user knows Cisco as "the network company that the Internet is connected with." Being able to put that logo on consumer-grade broadband and networking products would/will continue to be a huge boon for marketing. Had someone told me 10 years ago that I could own *my very own* full-featured Cisco router for under $100, I would've given a finger to sign up.
    • by woodchip (611770) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @09:11PM (#20005463)
      A finger plus $100? That is a little pricey. How about 2 fingers and $25?
      • by houghi (78078)
        For me that would be a neat price I would pay, depending on the two fingers. As long as they are not the ones I use to type, I am OK with it.
    • by adolf (21054) <flodadolf@gmail.com> on Thursday July 26, 2007 @09:20PM (#20005543) Journal
      But: They're not "full-featured", at least in standard trim. They're only good for NATing a network of computers to Teh Intarwebs.

      With something like OpenWRT loaded onto such a device, somewhat more esoteric and useful stuff can be done. But even then, it's just a Linux box, whereas "full-featured" Cisco (non-Linksys) routers run IOS.

      Oh, well.

      Back on topic: My mother knows what a Linksys router is for. If the one at her house failed, she would be able to produce an equivalent replacement from Wal-Mart without my assistance. Abandoning the Linksys brand for everything to say Cisco will smash this brand-recognition and loyalty; she'd be just as likely to buy one that says "Belkin" as "Cisco."

      • by PeelBoy (34769)
        Maybe they should combine the brand names for a period of time.. Similar to say... Square-Enix.. Then they could slowly transition over to Cisco that way.
        • by adolf (21054)
          They've had combined brands for years. Immediately after the Linksys buyout, the products have had dual branding.

          For example, a WRT54GL router that I procured recently for a project at work says "Linksys" on the top, but "Cisco Systems" on the front.

          My interpretation of the Cisco announcement is that they now intend to fully kill (instead of merely dilute) the Linksys name. I still think it's a bad move, but I'll keep buying their stuff for as long as it remains easily and productively hackable with a hug
    • by Burdell (228580)

      The uninformed user knows Cisco as "the network company that the Internet is connected with."

      Yeah, but the informed user knows Cisco sucks and would rather have a Juniper. :-)

      Had someone told me 10 years ago that I could own *my very own* full-featured Cisco router for under $100, I would've given a finger to sign up.

      Changing the name and artwork on the box doesn't magically make the Linksys routers full-featured Cisco routers. What most people consider full-featured Cisco includes IOS, and I doubt they're planning to put IOS on a home wireless router (certainly not for $50).

      • Definitely agree with Juniper, especially on VPNs. Cisco VPN clients are suckass. Juniper VPNs, especially their SSL VPN (Formerly Netscreen, nee Neoteris) are excellent.
        • by Tony Hoyle (11698)
          Juniper have their issues. My ISP kept us a running story of when they tried to replace their aging router with a Juniper - we had to be interested because the network was dropping out 5 times a day.. apparently when sent certain packets the router would simply die (the details were technical and I forget the exact packet, but the admin was amazed they'd shipped a product with a bug like that).
      • by hjf (703092)

        Yeah, but the informed user knows Cisco sucks and would rather have a Juniper. :-)

        Ah, but can juniper push 92 terabits per second? [cisco.com]

        What most people consider full-featured Cisco includes IOS, and I doubt they're planning to put IOS on a home wireless router (certainly not for $50).

        True. On the legendary Cisco 677 ADSL Modem they included a cut-down version of IOS named CBOS (Cisco Broadband Operating System). It was very IOS-like, but had only what was needed to route PPP over ATM (including NAT).

        Ah, th

    • Being able to put that logo on consumer-grade broadband and networking products would/will continue to be a huge boon for marketing.
      They already do. Have you looked at a WRT-series router, PAP2 analog adapter, or SPA-series IP phone?

      I work with Linksys VoIP gear day in and day out, Cisco branding is on every bit.
    • by cjsnell (5825)
      You're on crack. Cisco means absolutely nothing to the average internet user in the US. They are dumping all of the value in the Linksys brand with this change...and you're kidding yourself if you think you're getting a Cisco for $100. If it doesn't run IOS, it isn't a real Cisco.
    • The uninformed user knows Cisco as "the network company that the Internet is connected with." Being able to put that logo on consumer-grade broadband and networking products would/will continue to be a huge boon for marketing. Had someone told me 10 years ago that I could own *my very own* full-featured Cisco router for under $100, I would've given a finger to sign up.
      Somebody's been watching too many yakuza movies.
    • And it shouldn't now. Cisco is known for being rock fucking solid. Ok, you'll get haters that'll disagree but talk to most network people (and I know a few) and Cisco gets mad props for stability and features. A good quote I head about IOS is "It makes the easy things hard but the hard things possible." I really feel there's merit to that having used other enterprise level products that were much easier to setup, but then I'd get stuck on something complex that there was no way to make them do. This is what
    • Yep, but after about 2 years people will just think of Cisco as the company that sells the cheap routers you see at Best Buy.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 26, 2007 @09:08PM (#20005451)
    I never even think of "Linksys" when I'm cooking.
  • by BrooksMarlin (141819) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @09:12PM (#20005485)
    I'm a loyal customer who has used "linksys" as his nationwide wireless ISP for years. You'd think they would have sent out a letter to me or something.
    • by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @09:15PM (#20005517)

      I'm a loyal customer who has used "linksys" as his nationwide wireless ISP for years. You'd think they would have sent out a letter to me or something.

      I certainly expect a press release on what they plan to use for the default WAP name, just to eliminate the guessing.

    • Linksys is a great nationwide wireless ISP, but their reliability often suffers. For example, when I try to access the linksys network from my home, I get something like this:

      [grunt@turing ~]$ ping slashdot.org
      PING slashdot.org (66.35.250.151) 56(84) bytes of data.
      From 192.168.1.1 icmp_seq=1 Destination Host Unreachable
      From 192.168.1.1 icmp_seq=2 Destination Host Unreachable
      From 192.168.1.1 icmp_seq=3 Destination Host Unreachable
      From 192.168.1.1 icmp_seq=4 Destination Host Unreachable
      From 192.168.1.1 icmp_s
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by noidentity (188756)
      Don't worry, they know you'll pretty quickly find their new "CISCO" network when they upgrade the access points in your neighborhood.
  • by postbigbang (761081) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @09:14PM (#20005499)
    or some notebook makers will find their brand equity digested by their purchasers (say hello to the *New* HP and *New* Dell branding).

    Let's see.... YouTube goes to GooTube which devolves back to Google.

    Branding has become a useless exercise..... brand assets are as good as the purchasing company's mindset.

    So, listen up there all you 3rd-Mortgaged Startups: Make That Brand Count. But don't fall in love with it.

    I'll bet DLink is laughing their butts off. Now they compete with Cisco instead of measily old Linksys. Whoohooo!
  • Name Recognition (Score:5, Informative)

    by Gaspo (862470) <jgasparini@gmail.com> on Thursday July 26, 2007 @09:18PM (#20005533)
    Cisco definately does have name recognition amongst most consumers. I work retail at a location which sells a lot of networking equipment, and whenever people ask "What's this Linksys stuff?", I always respond that they're a division of Cisco. Most of the time, that gets a favorable response, and I see a good bit of Linksys hardware leave the shelf because of that fact. A good move by Cisco.
    • by Belial6 (794905) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @11:51PM (#20006453)
      They may just not want to look stupid. My son's name is Conan. When people ask what nationality that is, I tell them "Cimmerian". They will often follow up with "Where is that?" I would tell them "Northern Hyboria". This generally illicits a knowing nod, and a "Oh, yeah." as if they know where that is, and just needed a reminder. So, while MAYBE they know what Cisco is, they also might just be buying it because they don't want to look ignorant.
  • by djh101010 (656795) * on Thursday July 26, 2007 @09:19PM (#20005539) Homepage Journal
    Don't get me wrong, I'm sure some reallllly smart marketing type people at Cisco ran some sort of study or something but, Linksys is consumer stuff. Cisco is enterprise stuff. Why dilute the brand for the enterprise stuff with consumer-grade equipment being associated with the name? Then again, where is there more money to be made? Not sure I have an answer but I'd be interested in hearing what others think about keeping the identity separate vs. combining them into one. Seems to me that "Linksys, a division of Cisco" would be as confidence-boosting as calling it Cisco, to the consumer. And I'd prefer to know that if something says Cisco, it's the real deal, not some 60 dollar best-buy grade piece of switchgear.
    • Chambers isn't going to come out and say that Linksys sucks compared to Cisco, but you can be sure that's another reason why they've put off merging the brands. Chambers' admission here really isn't anything new, by the way. He's not committing to any specific timeframe to convert the Linksys brand, he just says "over time". I think he wants to put out a few generations of better Linksys equipment before they'll bless it with the Cisco brand.
    • by ktappe (747125)

      And I'd prefer to know that if something says Cisco, it's the real deal, not some 60 dollar best-buy grade piece of switchgear.

      You seem to be assuming that Cisco is higher quality than Linksys. That's not my experience. The Cisco switches we use at [[name of my global financial institution omitted]] have for years been unable to properly auto-resolve to our PC's or Macs at full duplex unless the ports are forced manually to that speed. Even an upgrade to 6500-series switches did not solve that. But an

  • Crap (Score:5, Funny)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @09:22PM (#20005553)
    Now people won't value my hard-earned Linksys Network Engineer certificate...
  • by LM741N (258038)
    Crisco was already taken.
  • by nuintari (47926) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @09:28PM (#20005605) Homepage
    The best thing I see coming from this, there will longer be a Linksys WRT54G. After revision 5, it has to be the single crappiest router in history, amplified by the fact that all the chums at Best Buy own pre-version 5 routers, which are rock solid, and have no idea why I insist that any recent release is pure shit. They constantly tell my customers that it is the finest router money can buy, and my customers, being the idiots they are, listen to the minimum wage dumbass patrol at Best Buy instead of their ISP. Why people think a sales monkey knows more about networking than a networking guy, I'll never know. The end result is always the same, their service is fine, the router I told them not to buy locks up every damned day, and this is somehow my fault.

    Even if Cisco releases the same router with a new brand name, there is a good chance that the sales drones won't recognize it, and I can stop saying, "I told you so," to my customers.
    • by Solandri (704621)

      They constantly tell my customers that it is the finest router money can buy, and my customers, being the idiots they are, listen to the minimum wage dumbass patrol at Best Buy instead of their ISP. Why people think a sales monkey knows more about networking than a networking guy, I'll never know. The end result is always the same, their service is fine, the router I told them not to buy locks up every damned day, and this is somehow my fault.

      Even if Cisco releases the same router with a new brand name, t

    • by rossifer (581396)

      The best thing I see coming from this, there will longer be a Linksys WRT54G. [...] [Best Buy employees] constantly tell my customers that it is the finest router money can buy, and my customers, being the idiots they are, listen to the minimum wage dumbass patrol at Best Buy instead of their ISP.

      What you want to start recommending is the Buffalo WHR-HP-G54 [amazon.com]. It's also sold by Best Buy [bestbuy.com] and the Best Buy salespeople will be more than happy to sell them this item when a specific request is made. Tell them tha

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Aladrin (926209)
      Aye, I had a version 2 that was a GREAT router for quite a long time, before lightning got it. I ended up 2 of the later models that were horrid. If there's ever been a case of milking a great name ('Linksys wrt54g', in this case) this is it.

      I'm not surprised that Cisco thinks the Linksys name has been milked out and is moving on to milk their own name now. I'd bet this has nothing to do with increased Cisco name awareness and everything to do with Linksys being synonymous with 'crap routers'. I don't k
  • by Deadstick (535032) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @09:30PM (#20005615)
    ...I have to change my router's SSID to cisco now?

    rj

  • Really good way to decrease the reputation of Cisco as rock solid gear. Linksys always gets funky in not so good ways.
    • by Emetophobe (878584) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @10:16PM (#20005885)
      I always thought the Linksys WRT54G(L/S) was a great piece of hardware. Admitedly, the default Linksys firmware was garbage. That's why there's custom firmware like DD-WRT or OpenWRT. Cisco should have bought DD-WRT or OpenWRT and used that instead of their own firmware, that would've been a good start.

      More on topic, I really don't see the point of giving up a well established brand like Linksys. It already says "A Division of Cisco" with the Cisco bridge logo on both the retail box and router itself. Isn't that good enough?
  • by Espectr0 (577637)
    What SSID will we wardrive for? I am going to miss all those "Linksys" being found so easily...
  • by atarione (601740) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @09:37PM (#20005655)
    you do can have a crappy $20 (on sale at bb) home router that says CISCO Sytems on it...whoopdy do

    it is kinda sad how much crappier the home stuff is built over the last few years as the home networking stuff became more commoditized.

    my old RT314 router had nice rugged metal housing and plethora of status lights now you get a cheapy plastic housing and 1 light be port if lucky.... not to mention crap like the cutting in half of the RAM on the WRT54G and other bs cost cutting moves by linksys on that product making later wrt54g garbage.

    but i don't entirely care cause i use a old PC / monowall for my routing / firewall needs. and I have a nice rack mount switch i picked up off ebay for very little...

  • Most of my small business clients lived and died on those small purple Linksys boxes. About half of those small purple boxes would fail for some reason, choking on a packet and hanging or just failing completely. I'd convince them that a small investment (under $250) in better networking gear would pay off in the long run, avoiding field service calls at $75/hr.

    Not that I have anything against Linksys per se: I'm currently using a DSL router (RV082) that bears both the Linksys and Cisco Systems logos. I
  • What's in a name (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Cisco has a good reputation in networking. Linksys, by my experience anyway, has one of the worst. If Cisco are going to badge Linksys products under the name "Cisco" they had better improve the service and quality of the linksys products. If not, when teenagers and uni students are buying networking equipment, the first experience they will have with Cisco will be a bad one and forever tarnish the brand.

    Just take a look at all the complaints around the SRW2008MP ( which I recently regret purchasing ).
  • by loraksus (171574) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @09:53PM (#20005751) Homepage
    Cisco's reputation has been slowly been suffering in the last few years and this is a huge leap in the wrong direction.
    Don't get me wrong - most Cisco stuff is still pretty damn good - but there are fairly reasonable alternatives nowadays and a significant amount of their stuff sells because their customers are running all / mostly Cisco infrastructure or someone recommended Cisco.

    Putting their name on shitty consumer level DSL routers and 4 port switches isn't going help in the recommendation department - some of you know that purchasing decisions can be easily affected by some person who isn't all that technical (I saw Cisco phones on 24, they must be great!, etc)"
    Of course, that works the other way too. I've seen people reject proposals w/ 3com because some shitty 3com branded consumer level lemon caused them aggravation at home. 3com isn't top of the line, but it was pretty damn good a few years ago.
    One Cisco gets their first lemon product - and they will, because consumer equipment is cheap crap mass produced by peasant labour - that will leave a lasting bad taste in the mouths of the people who will make future decisions. And while Cisco consumer stuff might be a bit better than the other crap on the market, "not being as bad as ___________" is a really crappy goal to strive for (and when your competitors suck, it doesn't make a great advertising slogan either)

    I don't expect prices to go anywhere but up either - when Cisco started putting their name all over Linksys boxes, the prices went through the roof (unmanaged, stock 16 port switches for $300+?). Same shit, but twice(+) the money. Not cool. People aren't stupid, they will eventually catch on.

    I bet some consultant asshole and some fucking buzzwords had something to do with this.
    "Standardized Branding" ftw.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by rob1980 (941751)
      They are leveraging a radical paradigm shift in non-overlapping market segments to enhance the end-user's expectation of "five nines" reliability in an infinitely scalable home network.
  • by vic-traill (1038742) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @09:54PM (#20005755)

    I was listening to a show on CBC radio (gov't-funded NPR-like radio in Canada) a month or so back and they had a marketing guy talking about the value of brands. The speaker asserted that even bad brands have tremendous value, because they need to be focused, not established. Establishing a brand takes years and a shit-pile of money, with no guarantees, said he. From this guy's perspective, there is nothing more difficult in marketing and sales than establishing a brand, where a brand is a gut feeling about products+prior experience+what you've heard+service+etc. It's all that stuff that is evoked when you hear the company name, see the logo, think about buying a product.

    This is completely off my cuff, but I think Linksys is a very established brand in residential markets, where 'Cisco' isn't. My girlfriend's son (first marriage stuff) even called his wireless router 'the linksys' last week ... and his wireless router is labeled by Dlink.

    He sure as shit didn't call it 'my cisco'.

    I call this move a mistake. Here's a Slideshare doc I cam across a few months back; the writer can't spell 'Porsche' correctly, but nonetheless I think it's a good intro blurb:
    http://www.slideshare.net/coolstuff/the-brand-gap [slideshare.net]

  • Killed by Broadcom (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jihadist (1088389) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @10:07PM (#20005833) Homepage Journal
    The linksys brand was solid, until their routers started using broadcom chipsets, and immediately began to suck. Millions of people who would have bought linksys if their "computer literate" neighbor had been able to recommend it thus did not buy linksys. Cisco, being smart MBAs with the souls of paperclips, have now decided to use a brand everyone still trusts before they pump up sales and ditch the company to toolish shareholders before retiring to Cuba.
  • by calmdude (605711) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @10:09PM (#20005851)
    Black and Decker used to be a trusted name amongst professionals until they started making toasters, household electric screwdrivers, etc. It eroded the brand. Black and Decker then took DeWalt, a brand that had languished against its competitors, but revitalized it by becoming the new name for Black and Decker's professional line of tools. Same tools, just a new name to get away from the consumer-grade equipment.

    The same may happen to Cisco. Sometimes it's best to have a "professional-grade" brand versus a consumer-grade one.

    Click here [reveries.com] to learn a little bit more about the Black and Decker and DeWalt name game.
    • by yoyhed (651244)

      Sometimes it's best to have a "professional-grade" brand versus a consumer-grade one.
      So.. what exactly is the situation right now with Cisco and Linksys, if that's not it? Cisco already makes its "toasters" under the Linksys name, and its professional-grade tools under Cisco.
  • by QuebecNerd (924754) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @10:33PM (#20005979)
    ...But when Cisco purchased Linksys a few years back I was under the impression that the deal was to leave these guys alone and give them alot of autonomy. I liked linksys because they were giving Cisco a run for their money in some product lines. Lately I saw too many Linksys products hitting the streets without being ready (WIP300 'iPhone', WRV200 VPN router,...) and I was afraid that something was wrong and that Cisco was taking over and the Linksys guys were muted from the inside. I don't see that in a good ways.

    This may be modded as flamebait but back in the days when I ran an ISP, I know for a fact that if I had purchased Cisco products instead of Allied Telesyn, Livinston (Lucent) and others I would have run bankrupt, the price difference was 1:3 between Cisco and the other brands and I simply couldn't afford it. They are going to mess up the skinny athletic Linksys with their big fat lethargic ways... For me, Cisco is a brand name like 'Microsoft' but it really doesn't mean it's better...
  • Please stay hackable (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Gothmolly (148874)
    As the owner of a WRT54G and NSLU2, I can run my entire home network on 2 linux servers consuming, together, under 20 watts.

    Will the Cisco-ification of Linksys stop this from happening in the future?
  • by TychoCelchuuu (835690) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @11:53PM (#20006473) Journal
    Also announced was Cisco's plan to gently ease consumers into the new brand with a line of "Linksisco" equipment during the transitional period. "We'll gradually reduce the name to Lisco and finally to Cisco," said one brand manager when asked to comment. "Hopefully people will just think their dyslexia's getting worse and they won't notice until it's too late."
  • A bit late, i was getting used to the name Linksys, which imho stands for good consumer network hardware, whereas cisco stands for very expensive enterprise hardware.
    I think it was fine the way it was.
    Looks like a typical manager-decission "oh, we call it cisco, it will allow us to make it more expensive"
  • After being told to upgrade the firmware on a PoE injector that croaked and leaked shortly after being powered up, I can't say the name will be missed.
  • How does this affect product reliability and quality? Will we start getting better stuff than the crap linksys junk I've had the misfortune of using so far?

    Every single Linksys consumer / home wireless product I've used has been much more expensive and worse quality than even cheap taiwan made no-name brands or stuff like planex which costs 1/2 as much as linksys in terms of product life and reliability.

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