Windows 7 in 2009? Well, not really

Hot and bothered over last week's news that Windows 7 could be released as early as next year? Well, it's just not going to happen.

Are you hot and bothered over last week's news that Windows 7 could be released as early as next year? Well, it's just not going to happen. Sorry.

That didn't stop news sites from picking up on it last week and literally running it around the globe. Unfortunately, the entire saga hinged on a flawed interpretation of what Microsoft chairman Bill Gates said. In fact, in response to a question about Windows Vista, Bill Gates' exact words were: "Sometime in the next year or so we will have a new version [of Windows]."

Ken Fisher of popular tech site Ars Technica was unequivocal in his criticism of reporters and bloggers who made much ado about nothing. He wrote a scathing commentary:

In a world of tech reporting where one's memory apparently stretches back not to the great Longhorn reboot but instead no further than one's breakfast, Mr. Gates' totally vague comment morphs into a product launch announcement...

Nevermind the fact that Mr. Gates has been wrong before about launch timeframes. Nevermind the fact that "the next year or so" does not equate to "next year," at least not in the English language. And nevermind that Microsoft's public relations wing says that Gates' comments do not indicate a change in the development process at Windows.

Sarcasm aside, this incident does give some pause and makes me consider the blistering speed at which news, particularly tech news, is spread around the Web. Do you think that misinformation is more rife now than it was in the past?

By Paul Mah

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.