It's been a long, hard road for all of us -- consumers, manufacturers, developers, and a little club called the 802.11n Working Group -- but the next-gen, MIMO-powered WiFi standard has finally reached an important milestone in its tortured journey from a wee pre-N to a full-fledged spec (hopefully!), with 83.4% of eligible voters approving the latest Draft 2.0 revision. As we all remember from the overwhelming initial rejection of Draft 1.0, a 75% supermajority is required for moving on to the next stage, so the fact that there was this much support coupled with relatively few comments (3,000-some versus the 12,000+ for that famous Draft 1.0 flameout) means that we may actually be on track for a planned April 2009 publication of the final IEEE spec. The best part is that since Draft 2.0 is guaranteed to be fully compatible with the finalized 802.11n, your current gear with the D 2.0 badge of honor will definitely play nice with future components. So we're in the home stretch now, folks -- all that's left is some nitpicking over technicalities and language -- and it looks like the naysayers will have been proven wrong after all; although when WiMax comes to town and makes WLANs irrelevant, there's a good chance that this whole ordeal will be quickly forgotten anyway.

[Via Ars Technica]

Business use only: NTT DoCoMo's F903iBSC