Pushing its fast Internet ambitions a step further, Microsoft has invested a "multimillion dollar" sum in Tut Systems, which specialises in fast connectivity and Net access for the home.
Tut received a total of $15 million this week from Microsoft, AT&T's venture capital arm and Itochu International, which it said it needed to accelerate time to market for its Homerun technology, currently under development.
Microsoft is thought to have provided about $10 million of the injection of cash, and also signed a joint marketing deal with its new partner. It will offer Homerun, which provides high speed connectivity for Net access and home users, to its customers within a range of home networking products.
The move fits in with the software giant's new strategy of focusing on the emerging demand for products to help people network and automate their homes, connecting multiple PCs and even household appliances.
The product allows multiple PCs to share peripherals and link to one another or the Internet on a 1Mbps Ethernet-like Lan.
Homerun is also able to distribute ADSL and other high speed services to all the phone sockets in a home or small office.
AT&T will also take up the Homerun technology to provide domestic customers with high speed Net access facilities over its existing copper lines, as other US telcos are already planning.
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