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CUSTOMER ALERT: Microsoft Windows 8 and Cisco Centralized Wireless Incompatibility Issue

Enterprise Software | Posted on October 11, 2012 by Kyle Ross








There is a serious software issue that has arisen from an incompatibility issue between Microsoft Windows 8 and Cisco’s centralized wireless solution.  All Cisco centralized wireless controller versions which support pre-standard Management Frame Protection (MFP) will render Windows 8 devices completely unable to connect to Cisco APs under centralized control.  This is as a result of Microsoft Windows 8 software, currently in release, which supports only IEEE 802.11w.

What this means:

Organizations that are implementing Microsoft Windows 8 and have Cisco’s Wireless MPF will find that they cannot connect to their wireless system.  It is not possible to address this by disabling the MFP functionality on the Cisco infrastructure and currently 802.11w cannot be “turned off” for Windows 8 clients as Microsoft considers it a security feature.

There are two solutions:

  1. There is a workaround solution from Cisco, however this is not our recommended fix, as the resulting wireless system often has reduced speed and security.
  2. Our preferred solution is to update your controller code.  This fix does not implement 802.11w but instead ensures that the communication from 802.11w on enabled clients is interpreted correctly by the Access Point.

Softchoice’s Wireless Consultants are ready to help

The Softchoice team is ready to help you manage this issue BEFORE you start receiving those calls from users wondering why their wireless is not working.

To find out more, contact your Softchoice Account Manager directly, or leave us a note below in the comments section with your thoughts or questions and we’ll respond as quickly as we can.

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