According to George G. Morgan of the Genealogy Guys Podcast, the 1940 U.S. census will be released April 2, 2012. However, it will be published only digitally. There won’t be a microfilm edition.
“Ah, the times they are achangin,” per Bob Dylan.
This is indeed a departure from former times as cranking through a roll of microfilm was almost synonymous with doing genealogy research. But I am perfectly willing to let the microfilm reside in a bygone era and move into the digital age. Checking a census record on my computer will be the ultimate in convenience! Seems like an excellent use of technology to me.
I don’t think microfilm editions of anything will be going away any time soon, but their life span may be shortened. Very few companies are even manufacturing the film and finding replacement parts for microfilm readers is becoming a real challenge. The digital age seem to be dawning.