Part of me says I should not have to learn about what's happening at Microsoft from the BBC. My dive buddy in Malta was asking me about Halo 3 and I was telling him that consumer product launch dates are known to only a very few - it's one of the few bits of the business which is secretive. I've heard an expected date for Longhorn Server to ship - and that's expected, not fixed and I'm not sharing it. No one in my circle knew that HALO 3 WILL LAUNCH ON SEPTEMBER 25th (US) and 26th (Europe).
As I type this, over at bungie.net , the clock is still ticking down with 1 hour to go before the start of the public beta, with no news of the launch date. Nor is the Launch date visible on Halo3.com Could it be that the BBC Story appeared a couple of hours early. I don't know.
Update. Looks like the Beeb jumped the gun. At Bungie.net the clock has gone and the announcement is there (with more detail here - but boys, the equinox is the 21st! you ship 4 days into Autumn, not 2 ! )