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Cisco to Kill Linksys Brand Name

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the alas-we-hardly-knew-ye dept.

Businesses 262

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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So what happens now (5, Insightful)

0racle (667029) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005415)

Does the consumer stuff get better, or the enterprise stuff get worse?

Re:So what happens now (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20005437)

Enterprise stuff gets worse, consumer stuff stays shitty, prices of both go up.

Re:So what happens now (5, Insightful)

woodchip (611770) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005447)

The consumer stuff stays crappy but you pay 20% more for the cooler enterprise-level brand name.

Re:So what happens now (5, Funny)

toleraen (831634) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005481)

But at least I can finally make use of my CCNP when setting up my friend's wireless!

Re:So what happens now (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20005497)

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.

Re:So what happens now (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 7 years ago | (#20006041)

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.

Re:So what happens now (4, Informative)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | more than 7 years ago | (#20006115)

This is true. But they still sell one with the extra memory as the WRT54GL. (L for Linux.)

Re:So what happens now (1)

OriginalArlen (726444) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005489)

no, and yes.

Re:So what happens now (1)

spyder-implee (864295) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005537)

I believe they are dropping the name because the know the power of branding. The Linksys name is often associated with poor quality products and they want a fresh start.

Re:So what happens now (5, Informative)

JimDaGeek (983925) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005821)

Huh? Are you for real? I have owned 3 Linksys-based Cable/DSL routers. The first two I purchased were based on Linux and I found them to work very well. When the two Linux-based Linksys routers I owned started to show their age, I was able to find a nice firmware update that has allowed me, as a paying customer, to enjoy my product for longer and add some more features.

We all know that over-paid execs don't want customers ("consumers" to them) to enjoy products for any longer than need be. With that said, my latest "Linksys" cable/dsl router whivh is now Cisco branded and has a different non-Linux firmware just sucks. I have had issues with systems not getting an IP, wireless not working, slow network speeds on an 8 Mbps connection and all other crap. Switching back to an earlier Linksys model fixes things right up.

Re:So what happens now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20005591)

The Enterprise stuff continues to suck and the consumer stuff gets worse, unless you can continue to install OpenWRT that is.

Re:So what happens now (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20005739)

Does the consumer stuff get better, or the enterprise stuff get worse?

Exactly. In fact, are they actually changing the name because so many consumers now associate the name Linksys with horrible phone support?

Enter your worst story below. Mine is probably the friends who literally couldn't understand anything the presumably offshore tech was saying. They're both well-travelled people who are good with accents, and she's a multi-lingual legal secretary for chissakes. They couldn't understand a word, and weren't even sure what his true language might be. "Sounded like he had a mouthful of rocks and a head cold."

Re:So what happens now (5, Interesting)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005819)

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.

Re:So what happens now (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005983)

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 security holes.

Re:So what happens now (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20005847)

Does the consumer stuff get better, or the enterprise stuff get worse?


Obviously third outcome doesn't exist.

Re:So what happens now (2, Insightful)

imemyself (757318) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005911)

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.

Re:So what happens now (4, Interesting)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 7 years ago | (#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.

Shitnigger (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20005423)

FUckshitter

Dicklicker (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20005617)

CUNtkicker

Re:Dicklicker (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20005925)

why don't you just shut the fuck up, nob.
 
if you're going to curse the least you can do is call kdawson a fucking cunt dyke whore bitch.

One word - Inprise (5, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005429)

Borland - Inprise - Borland.

Re:One word - Inprise (1)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005667)

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.

Re:One word - Inprise (3, Interesting)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005805)

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.

Re:One word - Inprise (1)

PeelBoy (34769) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005859)

BTW Nissan still uses Infinity to segment its market in the America.

Re:One word - Inprise (1)

bladesjester (774793) | more than 7 years ago | (#20006103)

Infinity tends to be higer end (ie higher priced) cars.

Nissan and Datsun were in the same basic price range.

Re:One word - Infinity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20006279)

What if you gave a car and nobody came?

Re:One word - Inprise (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#20006003)

Even HP still sells the Compaq brand. These are well known names, they shouldn't just throw away a good name.

Re:One word - Inprise (5, Funny)

AntiNazi (844331) | more than 7 years ago | (#20006043)

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.

Re:One word - Inprise (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 7 years ago | (#20006159)

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.

Re:One word - Inprise (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 7 years ago | (#20006083)

I thought s/Datsun/Nissan/ because Datsuns had a poor reputation for quality.

Re:One word - Inprise (1)

Ryokurin (74729) | more than 7 years ago | (#20006319)

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.

Re:One word - Inprise (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#20006267)

Compromise: Linksisco

Horray for pants! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20005431)

Pants are good!

Cisco recently raised their brand awareness (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20005433)

With their iPhone breaking network at Duke.

Err, that's funny... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20005671)

...not off-topic.

Mods on crack.

Should have been the plan from the beginning (5, Insightful)

bconway (63464) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005445)

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.

Re:Should have been the plan from the beginning (4, Funny)

woodchip (611770) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005463)

A finger plus $100? That is a little pricey. How about 2 fingers and $25?

Re:Should have been the plan from the beginning (1, Interesting)

djblair (464047) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005511)

Agreed, but they need to get a product that lives up to the Cisco name first. Linksys is really the best of the residential routers, but they still crash frequently and that just isn't inline with Cisco's reputation of rock-solid hardware. Putting the Cisco brand on theser could spell disaster. Let's hope the few years the change will take is spent bolstering the quality of their consumer device line.

Oh, and has anyone else noticed the new cartoony cisco logo now appearing on routers and switches? I'll save my bitching until one actually goes bad.

Re:Should have been the plan from the beginning (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005613)

That's the thing. I've had fairly good experiences with non-consumer networking hardware, whereas with Linksys products, half of the units I've worked with have given me hours of unnecessary grief each. I had a Linksys cable modem that wouldn't even do its job at all until it was re-flashed, and then, it wasn't very good at getting DHCP from the cableco, or handing out an IP through DHCP out to the router.

Re:Should have been the plan from the beginning (4, Interesting)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005721)

I have to agree with you 100%. GP apparently hasn't had a lot of experience with many models of many brands of consumer-level networking equipment. I after testing/installing/configuring hundreds (probably thousands, I really haven't kept track) of consumer networking equipment parts, no brand in my experience has had nearly as a high a failure rate as Linksys. And I know this next bit is going to seem an exaggeration or a troll, but it's not. In the dozens of Linksys routers and switches I've worked with, I've actually had over a 50% failure rate. Admittedly, with my job I generally only get called in only to solve problems. But the fact is, when I get called to a job where a Linksys part is involved, more than half the time that part must be replaced. When other brands of networking equipment are in use, it's rarely a defective part.

Re:Should have been the plan from the beginning (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#20006057)

How many of those were people who try to flash their firmware to try to install custom Linux software on there, and ended up messing up the router? Linksys routers are about the only ones I've commonly heard of being used for this purpose, also I'm sure it can be done with other routers. Linksys is well known for this. I'm wondering how many people screw it up.

Re:Should have been the plan from the beginning (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20005513)

I, too, would've given the finger.

Re:Should have been the plan from the beginning (4, Insightful)

adolf (21054) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005543)

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."

Re:Should have been the plan from the beginning (1)

PeelBoy (34769) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005895)

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.

Re:Should have been the plan from the beginning (1)

Burdell (228580) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005587)

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).

Re:Should have been the plan from the beginning (1)

Anarke_Incarnate (733529) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005903)

Definitely agree with Juniper, especially on VPNs. Cisco VPN clients are suckass. Juniper VPNs, especially their SSL VPN (Formerly Netscreen, nee Neoteris) are excellent.

Re:Should have been the plan from the beginning (1)

hjf (703092) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005941)

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, the 677. Good memories. A fine piece of hardware, considering it was designed in something like 1997 (not by cisco but by NetSpeed Corporation, judging by the BIOS). Mine worked from 2001 well until 2006 when a lightning finished it (well, not quite, it worked for 2 months more at my cousin's. She lives like 5 blocks away from the CO). Replaced it with some cheap, single-chip ADSL/ADSL2+ modem, which has not given any problems, and also gives 10ms less latency. Poor Cisco, it had to do some heavy calculations on my Telco's FEC. The new modem, I assume, has some ASIC that does all the job (the 677 doesn't, it's completely covered in ICs, which explains the extra 10ms).

Re:Should have been the plan from the beginning (1)

wolrahnaes (632574) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005665)

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.

Re:Should have been the plan from the beginning (1)

cjsnell (5825) | more than 7 years ago | (#20006027)

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.

Re:Should have been the plan from the beginning (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 7 years ago | (#20006169)

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.

Cisco is a stronger brand name (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20005451)

I never even think of "Linksys" when I'm cooking.

Re:Cisco is a stronger brand name (2, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005521)

I never think of linksys when I'm drinking bum wine [bumwine.com] .

At Walmart ... (1)

ianare (1132971) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005461)

How many people will confuse 'Cisco' with 'Crisco' [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:At Walmart ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20005577)

Or for that matter, confused with Sisqo [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:At Walmart ... (1)

awehttam (779031) | more than 7 years ago | (#20006007)

let alone sysco [sysco.com] .

Shouldn't they have told me? (5, Funny)

BrooksMarlin (141819) | more than 7 years ago | (#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.

Re:Shouldn't they have told me? (5, Funny)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 7 years ago | (#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 reliability problems?! (1)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005915)

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_seq=6 Destination Host Unreachable
From 192.168.1.1 icmp_seq=7 Destination Host Unreachable
From 192.168.1.1 icmp_seq=8 Destination Host Unreachable

Stupid linksys admins!

Re:Shouldn't they have told me? (2, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 7 years ago | (#20006277)

Don't worry, they know you'll pretty quickly find their new "CISCO" network when they upgrade the access points in your neighborhood.

Maybe Altiris is Next..... (2, Funny)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 7 years ago | (#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 (5, Informative)

Gaspo (862470) | more than 7 years ago | (#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.

Re:Name Recognition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20005939)

you push linksys crap on people by calling it cisco? what kind of a bait and switch jackass ar...what? cisco bought linksys? oh well. time to go find a new brand of enterprise-level...what? crap, not again.

Re:Name Recognition (1)

Vulva R. Thompson, P (1060828) | more than 7 years ago | (#20006339)

That's because their thought process is "Well, CTU uses Cisco equipment and Jack's still alive so it must be good".

I'm not sure this is a good idea. (5, Interesting)

djh101010 (656795) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005539)

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.

Re:I'm not sure this is a good idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20005773)

I just want to know what it will do to my CCNA... is it going to make it seem worthless now?

Re:I'm not sure this is a good idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20006111)

>I just want to know what it will do to my CCNA... is it going to make it seem worthless now?
Keep it in the bathroom - it'll come in handy should you run short on toilet paper.

Re:I'm not sure this is a good idea. (1)

Fred Ferrigno (122319) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005883)

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.

Re:I'm not sure this is a good idea. (1)

davef139 (790691) | more than 7 years ago | (#20006005)

I dont think it will dilute the Cisco branding, the enterprise level people will still know cisco will dominate for many years, enterprise changing is harder to do then the consumer if you ask me. Your enterprise level people aren't going to switch equipment just cuz they are making general hubs/routers for the open public, although you will be able to get consumers to switch to your branded router thats known for "running the internet". Personally I think they should bekept seperate. I think the Cisco branding shows some professionalism and quality. Unless they pur ios on there stuff, which we all know isnt going to happen.

does it matter? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20005549)

kdawson is still playing us like a cheap whore by destroying what was once a great tech site. now it's just a shithouse.

bad move (tm) -- piss off your loyal geeks (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20005551)

Killing the linksys brand == inviting me to try someone else. Personally have spent over $300 on Linksys products, and I'm responsible for several hundred more in purchases (through friends), but I've never spent a dime on Cisco (directly; I'm sure my ISP uses them).

I'm a vindictive customer, so if you kill off my favorite product, I'll ALWAYS go to the competitor first next time even if it costs more. And I'll recommend the competitor to my friends.

Cisco is on my shit list now, but I guess they figure they can write even off several thousand former loyal customers like me, since they're expanding their target market. Afterall, we probably only make up less than 1% of their total revenue.

So... any suggestions for my next router? I'm listening (as long as the answer isn't cisco)...

Re:bad move (tm) -- piss off your loyal geeks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20005595)

But... that... makes... no... sense.

They're NOT killing off the Linksys routers - they're RENAMING them. Changing the branding on the router will not make the routers die, and the same products will be available under a changed name. If that's enough to actually piss you off... then they probably couldn't count on your custom for long anyway.

Not to mention those hundreds you've spent and caused spent on Linksys products... WERE spent on Cisco products, in that they're products sold by Cisco, under the Linksys brand.

Also, captcha: docile.

Re:bad move (tm) -- piss off your loyal geeks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20006133)

you really sound like a fucking moron to me.

Crap (5, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005553)

Now people won't value my hard-earned Linksys Network Engineer certificate...

Well, (1)

LM741N (258038) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005603)

Crisco was already taken.

The Best To Come Of This (3, Interesting)

nuintari (47926) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005605)

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.

Re:The Best To Come Of This (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20005695)

just out of curiosity, do you tell them to buy the wrt54gl?

Re:The Best To Come Of This (1)

Sorn (1101727) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005781)

I think that title might be held by the Linksys BEFSR41 V.4 router that damn thing gets worst with each firmware upgrade that is supposed to fix the current crappiness. I had to revert back to the original factory firmware (after a few days of tracking it down) to even get P2P working again without the damned router disconnecting my Network connections to my PC.

Re:The Best To Come Of This (1)

Solandri (704621) | more than 7 years ago | (#20006225)

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.

Sounds like you need to learn some salesmanship. From your "idiots they are" and "I told you so" comment, it sounds like you're taking a "I know what's better for you so listen up" attitude when speaking to your customers. This is condescending. When a sales chimp at Best Buy tells them, "I'm your friend, I'm like you, I know what you're going through, and this is what I did," of course they're going to listen to the chimp instead of you.

Try making your customers feel special. Tell them, "I could get in trouble for telling you this, so you have to promise to keep it secret. My friend who used to work here cross-referenced network complaints from our customers against the brand/model of router they used, and the one causing the least problems is XYZ. That's the one you should buy. The worst one was the Linksys WRT54G My friend was warning customers away from it. Linksys happens to be owned by Cisco, who provides most of our high-end network equipment. When Cisco found out, they threatened to cancel our discounts, so my friend got fired. Their high end equipment is great, but their low end Linksys stuff is crap. So avoid the Linksys. Remember, I never told you this." The better they feel about you and the information you gave them, the more likely they are to do what you say.

Re:The Best To Come Of This (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20006249)

Ya know not everyone is a gullible moron who would believe that, right?

Pretending to be the purchaser's friend and pretending to be giving them some sort of 'under the table' 'off the record' advice is so obviously disingenuous it ain't funny.

Best tactic is to tell the truth and if a customer wants to listen to the sales drone and be ripped off then so be it, that's their fault. Just be sure to charge them for all the extra time you put in fixing this mistake.

I've got their new slug line right here... (0, Troll)

dbatkins (958906) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005607)

A turd by any other name is still a turd.

Does this mean... (4, Funny)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005615)

...I have to change my router's SSID to cisco now?

rj

Well, that could be interesting. (1)

E-Sabbath (42104) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005619)

Really good way to decrease the reputation of Cisco as rock solid gear. Linksys always gets funky in not so good ways.

Re:Well, that could be interesting. (4, Informative)

Emetophobe (878584) | more than 7 years ago | (#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?

But (1)

Espectr0 (577637) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005633)

What SSID will we wardrive for? I am going to miss all those "Linksys" being found so easily...

Re:But (1)

hammackj (872358) | more than 7 years ago | (#20006291)

Tsunami?

well won't that just be neat (2, Interesting)

atarione (601740) | more than 7 years ago | (#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...

Will they also kill all those Linksys products? (2, Funny)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005685)

Pleeeeze?

The big question is ..... (1)

kevorkian (142533) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005687)

Will the home routers stay blue ?? Or go for the 'cisco' green

Saw this one coming... (1)

ktakki (64573) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005691)

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. It's been solid as a rock and serves as a capable VPN endpoint. It's just those small purple boxes that they sell at Best Buy and Staples that vex me.

Seven years ago, when I needed to share my DSL connection with more than one computer, Linksys was there for me. But after a while, it was time to move on to more mature and robust equipment.

k.

What's in a name (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20005715)

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 ). Unless you have internet explorer, forget about trying to use WebView to configure it. It won't work with any other browser, so forget trying to use Linux of Mac or BSD or anything else. You are FORCED to have a MS Windows machine to configure it.

But I here you say, "It also comes with a serial port for configuration." Nope, that doesn't provide full capability to configure it either.

What a stupid idea... (3, Insightful)

loraksus (171574) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005751)

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:What a stupid idea... (2, Funny)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005855)

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.

Value of a brand == Don't throw 'em away (3, Insightful)

vic-traill (1038742) | more than 7 years ago | (#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 (5, Interesting)

jihadist (1088389) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005833)

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.

Re:Killed by Broadcom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20006191)

Um, what? The Broadcom chipsets were what spawned the Linux-based WRT54G. Despite their initial GPL violation, the eventual open source firmware development boom only helped their reputation. More recent products have tended to use less memory, Atheros chipsets and VxWorks instead of Linux. If they hadn't started messing the design, I would still recommend the WRT54G and WRT54GS. The VxWorks routers have been mediocre at best.

Black and Decker and DeWalt again? (5, Insightful)

calmdude (605711) | more than 7 years ago | (#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.

Re:Black and Decker and DeWalt again? (1)

yoyhed (651244) | more than 7 years ago | (#20006239)

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.

Best Product Eva (0, Offtopic)

pikap (1053916) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005871)

I can proudly say I own one of Crisco's products!

Maybe I was wrong... (4, Insightful)

QuebecNerd (924754) | more than 7 years ago | (#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 (2, Interesting)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 7 years ago | (#20006141)

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?
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