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Today, I’d like to talk about the EOL process. EOL is an acronym for End of Life. But it’s used in a general way to discuss the process when a product is no longer supported by the manufacturer. If you’re like me you sometimes keep a piece of technology that you like long after shiny new items have replaced it. Currently I have a printer bought in the dark ages and it refuses to work with Windows 7. I’ve tried updating the printer with Vista drivers that “may or may not” work according to the manufacturer. So far though it appears I’m not doing much printing. At least I’m saving some trees.


What about Intel? How do we go about the EOL process for our wireless adapters? Let’s take a look at the current status of one of our adapters to understand the process better.


In early 2003 the Intel® PRO/Wireless 2100 (2100) was released. Intel sold this product for several years. Eventually newer products were introduced and generally were selling much better than the 2100. This tends to happen to all products. They start slowly, peak and then start to fall. At some point a decision is made to stop manufacturing the product. The product becomes officially EOL. Around the time that the Intel® Wireless WiFi Link 3945ABG was released the 2100 became EOL.


Meanwhile, the contact center is still supporting the product and software updates are posted on the web. Then the product becomes EOIS – End of Interactive Support. This means that the contact center no longer supports the product but new drivers and web documents are still being posted to the web. In early 2007 the final software version was released for the 2100 supporting Windows Vista. And almost 2 years later EOIS was announced.


Finally all support for the product ends. There are no more driver updates and very few web documents are posted. The product has reached EOS – End of Support. At this point, information is available on the web but it’s not being updated.


Some products may eventually be removed from the web or perhaps only a minimal amount of information is still posted. This depends on the product and the manufacturer’s process.


Why is information removed from the web? Think about a website, it is similar to a very large file cabinet full of documents. When you have too many documents to fit in the cabinet it becomes difficult to find anything. By removing these older products, search results will show more current information making it easier for you to find the information you are looking for.


However, the wireless Community allows those of you still using older technology to share your tips with others keeping the older products alive. If you are a reader using an EOS product and have some tips or tricks to share, please post them in the Forum and help keep the product alive for one more person.


Thanks for reading.