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AutoCell Returns With Microsoft Deal

Dan Jones
LR Mobile News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor
10/31/2006

It turns out that rumors of WiFi software startup AutoCell Laboratories Inc. 's demise have been greatly exaggerated. The company broke cover today to say that it has inked a deal with Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)

AutoCell develops software that automatically tries to calibrate WiFi signals to ensure the best performance of 802.11 clients and the underlying AP network. Microsoft has licensed load balancing, fast roaming, power control, and other patents from the Acton, Mass.-based startup.

It is not yet clear what Redmond plans to do with the patents. It is notable, however, that the software giant has been steadily working on upgrading its desktop OS WiFi connectivity capabilities. Unstrung contributor Craig Mathias also suspects the technology may be used in Microsoft's mobile operating system. (See AutoCell Is Back.)

What is clear, however, is that AutoCell has found its new direction -- licensing its intellectual property, or source code, rather than trying to get other vendors to buy complete interference-busting software packages. (See Propagate Looks to Clear the Air.)

The startup is also working with HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ)

Things looked bleak at AutoCell for a while there. (See AutoCell Recalibrates and Hirings & Unwirings.) The company is, however, one of the few players on the market that develops this kind of auto-calibration software. It also has some big name VC backers such as Motorola Ventures and Siemens Venture Capital (SVC) . (See Autocell Grabs Another Round .)

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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