In a move that came as little surprise to those who know how these things work, but that will still probably hurt manufacturers who've been releasing MIMO-enabled networking peripherals for the last few months, the IEEE 802.11 working group tasked with creating a next-gen WiFi standard has recently rejected the first draft of the highly-anticipated 802.11n. Not only did the first 802.11n draft fail to capture the 75% supermajority needed for passage, it couldn't even muster a regular majority among "Task Group N," which is a troubling development for those consumers who have already gone out and purchased pre- or draft-N gear from Linksys, Netgear, and the like. As we've reported in the past, some manufacturers had warned -- and independent testing corroborated -- that draft-N gear could negatively effect current 802.11b/g products already on the market, by hogging the available 2.5GHz bandwidth and causing performance issues on existing WLANs.  Still, taken in a historical perspective, rejection of the first draft of a proposed 802.11x specification is not uncommon, and actually seems to be the rule, rather than the exception, in the life-cycle of these multi-year, multi-party standards talks.

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