Poll Preview: On Releases and Announcements — We’d like to get your opinion about the types of product news you see in TidBITS. Traditionally, TidBITS covers products only when you can download or purchase them, rather than when they’re initially announced by companies, which can be months before they’re available. We developed this practice to avoid cluttering readers’ minds – and our issues – with information about vaporware and products which didn’t yet exist (and in some cases would never exist). Announcements almost universally tout products as the best in their categories and often omit information such as system requirements, availability dates, and pricing, which makes writing about the products difficult, especially since we can’t evaluate the quality of the product or say whether new features are useful or work as they should. Conversely, knowing what products companies plan to release can be useful. Should you invest in a third party add-on for one of your main applications if the next version should be out soon with a similar feature? If a program is currently discounted, should you buy copies for your company before a new version comes out? Will a product soon add a feature you need, or should you cut your losses and switch to a competitor now? Visit our home page and let us know your feelings about whether we should cover products when they’re first announced or when they actually ship! [GD]
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