The new-ish W3C working group set up to create a new version of HTML has voted to adopt the work of WHATWG as its starting point, in particular the work on HTML 5. Here are the details from the co-chairs. This will speed up the process, and more significantly, brings together the W3C and the WHATWG. WHATWG was set up by browser vendors (Microsoft excluded) out of frustration with the W3C process and its abandonment of HTML in favour of XHTML.
Does this now make WHATWG pointless? That’s the obvious conclusion; but the group may not want to disband itself.
Thanks to Simon WIllison for the link.