Did Intel CEO Paul Otellini privately tell Intel employees Microsoft's Windows 8 is still buggy and is being released before it should have been -- or didn't he?
Bloomberg ran a story claiming he did on September 25. On September 26, Intel issued a statement about what company officials there called the "unsubstantiated" reports. But if you read Intel's statement, company executives never deny outright that Otellini made the alleged remarks.
Here's Intel's statement, in full:
"SANTA CLARA, Calif., Sept. 26, 2012 – Today Intel Corporation issued a statement in response to unsubstantiated news reports about comments made by Intel CEO Paul Otellini in a meeting with employees.
"Intel has a long and successful heritage working with Microsoft on the release of Windows platforms, delivering devices that provide exciting experiences, stunning performance, and superior compatibility. Intel fully expects this to continue with Windows 8.
"Intel, Microsoft and our partners have been working closely together on testing and validation to ensure delivery of a high-quality experience across the nearly 200 Intel-based designs that will start launching in October. Intel CEO Paul Otellini is on record as saying 'Windows 8 is one of the best things that ever happened to Intel,' citing the importance of the touch interface coming to mainstream computing and the huge wave of exciting new Ultrabook™, tablet and convertible device innovations coming to the market."
As you can see, the Intel spokespeople charged with crafting this never actually deny that the company's CEO didn't say Windows 8 was unfinished and in need of fixes and improvements. There's a lot of fancy footwork in the statement above, but not actually an outright denial.
As I noted yesterday, it's tough to ever say any operating system release is "done." But I am hearing from some of my contacts that even though Microsoft isn't seeking external tester feedback any longer on Windows 8, its development team is continuing to work on Windows 8. One of my contacts said there should be quite a number of Windows 8 bug fixes and updates coming right before Windows 8 goes on sale at retail on October 26 via Windows Update.
Whether or not Otellini said what he's alleged to have said, his timing couldn't have been a whole lot worse. On September 27, Intel is set to showcase a slew of Windows 8 tablets at a San Francisco press event. (The event will not be streamed live -- I asked.)
Like Intel is in the case of the supposed Otellini statement, Microsoft is and was between a rock and a hard place in regards to Windows 8. Some of my readers who've been weighing in consider Windows 8 more than ready to roll. Others have said they think it is a half-baked mess. If Microsoft hadn't declared Windows 8 ready to RTM in early August, there's a good chance Microsoft could have missed the holiday 2012 window -- something it really couldn't afford to forego if it hopes to get into the touch-tablet game.
Update: For even more on the changing Intel-Microsoft alliance, check out this in-depth story on CNET from Shara Tibken detailing the increasingly rocky history between the "Wintel" allies.