Now with StarCraft II in the hands of lucky beta testers walking among us, Blizzard can now speak with more certainty regarding the game's release date window.
In the most recent BlizzCast, episode 13, production director Chris Sigaty was asked about the availability of the map editor. Sigaty didn't commit to a date for the map editor, but did say that the earlier that the community can get started, the better.
As for how long the beta may run for, Sigaty said, "We were targeting three to five months for the beta, we're really at a three month period of time for the beta at this point. We are still targeting the first half of this year, so with that in mind, it really shortens the window of time with our major content patch coming out pretty close to the end whether it's even worth it putting out the map editor at that point."
You read right; Blizzard is now targeting a StarCraft II release of before July.