Sometimes journalists get so wrapped up in the heat of competition that we lose sight of what's important to our readers. Take product release dates for example. The media are keenly focused on being the first to report when software is coming out – or if a release date will be missed. Perhaps we should first ask ourselves if readers even care about this issue.
In the case of Longhorn, several high-tech media outlets wrote stories last week that said Microsoft's planned release for the next version of Windows has slipped until 2006. Unfortunately, many of these stories were based on pure speculation, since Microsoft hasn't offered any new information about Longhorn lately.
So let me put it directly to you, the users of Microsoft's products: Are release dates important? Do you think we media-types are too obsessed with them? Feel free to send me an e-mail with your thoughts.