Allnetdevices reports NetGear ships 802.11e-like wireless adapters: time to learn a new letter. NetGear ships this month a line of wireless adapters that share many 802.11b characteristics, but more closely conform to the proposed 802.11e specification, using time domain multiple access (TDMA) as well as a variety of interference avoidance techniques. This unfortunately great-sounding set of qualities could allow NetGear (and future compliant 802.11e devices) to offer reliable streaming media and voice-over-IP as well as work in particularly interference-prone regions.
I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot more about these developments soon, as the IEEE finalizes a variety of 802.11 specifications that could be rolled up into a super-spec that address b's weaknesses.
802.11b's great strength, of course, is cheapness and ubiquity, neither of which properties show any sign of abating. NetGear may be pursuing either a huge lead in the market or a Betamax dead-end on the consumer side.