Major news sites (ActiveWin, Bink.nu, WinBeta) are spreading new rumors about the release date of Windows XP SP3 and Vista SP1. According to a French site, XP SP3 is supposed to be released on March 24 and Vista SP1 on Feb. 18. The latter is obviously false or outdated information. I have no clue if the one about XP SP3 is correct.
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The news sites are all linking to a blog that published the rumors first. I am calling it rumors because the basis of this information is a bit flimsy. There are just two product change requests mentioning those dates. You might wonder why one should even bother about such doubtful sources?
Actually, I am not blogging about the release dates, but about the news sites. Why do they pounce upon any news regarding release dates of important Microsoft products? Well, the answer is easy. They know that their readers are craving for such information. And you do, too, otherwise you wouldn't have read this post.
Sometimes I think that this is part of Microsoft's marketing strategy. The more rumors there are, the more publicity they get. The fact that most of us learned about the Vista SP1 RTM on the very same day that OEMs and system partners received their copies of Vista SP1 proves this assessment. I am quite sure the release date of the RTM was known long before internally.
They come out with such information in pieces so the media have enough time to push out their speculations. Almost all news sites have stories now about customers complaining that Vista SP1 will be available for download only 6 weeks later. These discussions are very valuable for Microsoft's marketing because it shows the high demand for this service pack. And if everyone wants this SP, it proves that the world is just about to embrace Vista.
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This is a bit annoying for those who need such information to plan their work. Perhaps such behavior is forgivable if it's about the release date of the next Xbox. But for business related products, I would expect a more professional attitude.