Major news sites (ActiveWin,, 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 The latter is obviously false or outdated information.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.

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    Jim 16 years ago

    Let me see if I get this right…

    You’re criticizing other news sites for having flimsy information but yet you state the following…

    “I am quite sure the release date of the RTM was known long before internally.”

    What’s the difference between you being quite sure about a knowledge of a release date and these others sites having knowledge of release dates? If you don’t have any kind of inside info don’t you think you’re sounding a little hypocritical.

    I’ll certainly admit that unless I’m missing something that was posted on bink it seems disappointing for them to have posted about the Vista SP1 release dates just a few days before this one. It read as if they had never heard of any dates before. That is disappointing to see…do they read their own news and maybe question what might be right? All they needed to do was add a few comments that questions the info. It simply might have been old info…it’s not like MS doesn’t routinely push back major releases when related to OS’s.

    For what it’s worth leading off of this whole topic I think MS is too comfortable with the corporate side of their customers. They have those juicy(for them) volume licenses that allows them to collect their money even when they release OS’s that many don’t want to or can’t upgrade to. It’s automatic money for them.

    If we ever see any competition in the business world that can challenge MS, then you might see them get back to seeming to be more professional. Right now though Linux with servers and Apple in consumers’ homes are the only areas challenging MS. Apple uses rumors for hype though they won’t admit it and what you’re seeing is them merely using what has worked for Apple since Apple has actually started taking marketshare away from MS at the consumer level.

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    Jim, you’re right I often have to base my decisions on flimsy information because MS doesn’t have anything better to offer. However, in this case I am indeed quite sure. Do you really think that Mr. Gates got up in the morning, looked out of the window, and then came to the conclusion that it is a good day to RTM Vista SP1? I hope they have a better way of setting up a time schedule.

  3. Avatar
    Jim 16 years ago

    I understand what you’re saying. It’s just I’ve found alot of sites lately that seem eager to bash other sites especially when they’ve had a negative story regarding Vista.

    As for your point sometimes I wonder if someone at MS really does just wake up and make a decision. As of today now we have this story…

    I realize it sounds a bit negative saying this but MS these days just doesn’t have much of a feel of that of a professional company. All of these are dates that should have been planned out and thought through yet it looks like they’re just making decisions on the fly. It’s not a huge issue in that of these release dates being planned better but I saw the same thing before Vista’s release and afterward with in some cases it looked pretty obvious some of the Vista patches were not tested well whatsoever…perhaps this goes back to the whole shortage of good IT/computer science people in the IT world that has been bandied about for a few years now.

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    Jim, no objection here. It seems to me that MS is just super nervous about Vista. I have no other explanation for all these hasty decisions.

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