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Associate Director of D-Link Business Solutions Joe Melfi informed SmallNetBuilder that the "beta" releases have been removed from D-Link's download sites and new firmware containing the fixes and enhancements in the previous "beta" releases, but with 802.11b features intact has been posted for download. The new releases, however, cannot be downgraded, "as will new firmware that we will be posting for most of our latest products".

Further details are in the email, which is excerpted below.

"You are correct that we have posted official/full firmware for the DIR-655. The new version is complete and includes 802.11b, WEP, all current fixes/enhancements. It was posted after passing our QA testing. At the same time we removed the beta firmware. The same is planned for DIR-825, probably tomorrow. [Ed. note: 1.11 has been posted]

At this point we have enough feedback and as I had described previously this was only a beta that was not meant to be permanent. Please understand that in no way did we intend for this to be a trial of removing 11b in return for the other fixes/enhancements as may have been mistakenly assumed. We would never compromise our users like that.

This new firmware has the restriction that is not down-gradable, as will new firmware that we will be posting for most of our latest products. The firmware has undergone a change in structure to make the coding and memory usage more efficient and to allow more features to be added. In doing this, memory tables shift and the configuration data gets relocated.

During the firmware upgrade process new configuration data tables are built to accommodate the new structure. Once that is done, it is no longer compatible with older firmware from previous structures. Any attempt to downgrade will result in incorrect settings, which will cause unpredictable behavior and may interfere with connecting to the Internet. Thus, it is not down-gradable to avoid operational problems that could result in tech support calls.

We did want to see what kind of buzz this would create about the future of 11b, but we didn’t intend for this to become a confusing topic. It was simply a brief attempt at inspiring comments. We are grateful that there are those that do take notice and pay attention to such things."

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