Microsoft Corp and Redmond, Washington-based neighbour Parallel Technologies Inc have struck a licence agreement that will add the latter’s parallel port communications technology to Microsoft’s forthcoming Windows95 product. According to the companies, the deal will enable users to mobilise the capabilities of Windows95’s integrated networking between Windows95 personal computers connected with low-cost parallel port cables, thereby eliminating the need for them to buy data-transfer packages and parallel port Ethernet adaptors. According to Microsoft, Windows95’s parallel port networking driver will automatically support Parallel’s Universal Parallel Cable, as well as LapLink-compatible cables. For its part, Parallel says that, with its built-in active electronics, the Universal Parallel Cable achieves near-local area network performance – greater than 300Kbps – when used with high-speed ECP and EPP parallel ports, and will link any two types of parallel ports, establishing a connection at the fastest available speed. The family of offerings comprises two types of passive cables, the Universal Parallel Cable, which, costing around $70, and additional communications devices to be introduced next year. Parallel says that it is now licensing manufacturers to produce and distribute parallel port networking products for the Windows95 market.
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