Microsoft has been excluded from a newly-formed industry association focusing on the home networking market.
The exclusion is a blow to the software giant, which is eager to extend its influence in this area. Created last week, the Home Phoneline Networking Alliance (HomePNA), which includes Intel, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, 3Com, AMD, AT&T, Compaq, Lucent, Rockwell and Tut Systems, turned down Microsoft's application for membership.
"Microsoft did not achieve the objectives looked for in members. The alliance didn't want just anybody along for the ride," claimed Gary Smerden, marketing director at AMD network products division.
Despite the rejection, Microsoft is still very supportive of the standards association, he insisted.
However, in a cunning move, Microsoft stole the association's glory at the Networks show last week. Microsoft revealed its investment in Tut Systems, the company that owns the HomeRun technology that is driving the Home Phoneline Networking market.
Microsoft refused to quantify the extent of its stake in Tut, but is known to be one of three investors, alongside Japanese venture capitalist Itochu and AT&T.
AMD's Smerdon insisted there is no conflict of interest in Microsoft becoming a shareholder in Tut systems. He stressed that the present members of the association were only "founding" members and other suitable candidates would be welcomed into the fold.
Also at Networks Telecom, AMD announced that it would be licensing Tut Systems' HomeRun technology and expand its PCnet family of Ethernet controllers as the foundation for a low-cost, easy-to-deploy home-network. AMD plans to produce a single chip, integrated device by the end of the year.
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