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Apple Starts Selling 802.11n Software For $2

The software activates the 802.11n wireless hardware in most Intel Core 2 Duo- and Xeon-based iMac, Mac Pro, MacBook, and MacBook Pro computers.

Apple on Tuesday started selling the $1.99 software that lets Mac users connect to faster, longer-range wireless networks, fulfilling a promise it made two weeks ago to charge for the enhancement.

The download, available at the Apple Online Store, activates the 802.11n wireless hardware in most Intel Core 2 Duo- and Xeon-based iMac, Mac Pro, MacBook, and MacBook Pro computers.

Apple has justified the $1.99 fee as an accounting requirement. Tuesday, Apple declined to comment on whether such fees would be levied for future enhancements to its hardware or software.

"The $1.99, however, is a site license [fee]," says Jai Chulani, senior product manager of Apple's wireless access point hardware. "You can install it on any Mac that you have." Previously, Apple had not made it clear whether the charge was a site license or a per-Mac fee.

Also on Tuesday, Apple shipped the AirPort Extreme, a new $179 wireless base station that it launched Jan. 9 at the Macworld trade show. The software needed to turn on 802.11n is included with the station.

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