First things first: No piece of software the size of Windows is without bugs. And in this era of regular online updates, even a significant bug isn’t as significant as it might have been.

But comments allegedly made by Intel CEO Paul Otellini to employees are raising questions about Windows 8 as Microsoft prepares for the new operating system’s debut in less than a month — one of the most important product releases in the history of the Redmond company.

In the short run, the timing of the report could prove awkward for Intel, as it prepares to showcase Windows 8 tablets during an event in San Francisco today.

Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday that Otellini told employees in Taiwan that Windows 8 was being released before it was ready.

In a statement yesterday, Intel called the report “unsubstantiated,” but didn’t actually say it was incorrect. The company isn’t asking Bloomberg for a correction, the Wall Street Journal reports.

In a note to clients this morning, Nomura Research analyst Rick Sherlund speculated that Otellini might have been trying to rally his troops to get the company’s upcoming Clover Trail processor for tablets in better shape for Windows 8 tablets when the new power-efficient chip is released early next year, aiming to help Intel compete more effectively against ARM-based Windows 8 tablets.

“We do not interpret comments attributed to Mr. Otellini to be a ‘killer issue’ for Windows 8 market adoption,” says Sherlund in the note. “Of the 800 unique Windows 8 devices certified by Microsoft already, it is not clear how many will be available at the launch and in what quantity, but we believe there will be enough to feature the product and begin to prove out the use case for a more fully functional tablet and Ultrabook touch device with Office compatibility.”

For the record, as noted by Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft calls Windows 8 “the most tested, reviewed and ready operating system in Microsoft’s history.”

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  • Guest

    Thank you for helping to debunk the idea that Windows 8 will be a buggy operating system. Every piece of software ever released, by every company, has bugs. What will distinguish Windows 8 from prior releases will be the unwavering commitment Microsoft shows to its partners and customers to deliver a winning user experience.

    Let the games begin.

    • Pieter

      Yeah there’s no unwavering commitment like what the move to ARM and those Surface tablets told Microsoft’s partners :-)

      The idea that Windows 8 is buggy can only be debunked by it actually not being buggy. No amount of PR can make real bugs go away. But how bad can Windows 8 really be after Vista and 7? Obviously Vista was atrocious but these days 7 seems to sorta work. If they built on that and got the security right then maybe 8 will actually keep that cash cow running a bit longer. That’s assuming Intel’s Otellini was shooting blanks off course. Interesting times ahead so, indeed, let the games begin. I look forward to reading the independent reviews of Windows 8.

      • guest

        Why would MS provide unwavering commitment to Intel or OEMs, neither of which have provided that in return? That said, has anyone been more loyal to either group over a span of decades? The answer is no, not even close. And W7 is a very good OS that has sold extremely well from day one. So your “but these days seems to sorta work” just makes you look petty.

        • Pieter

          Historically hasn’t Intel provided the building blocks to the OEMs which then sold billions of dollars worth of PCs en servers preinstalled with Windows? That’s quite a commitment to Microsoft. And as far as I can tell it went both ways. Maybe there was a bit less commitment when the likes of IBM, HP, Dell etc. started to offer Red Hat products preinstalled. But overall it seemed to be ok until the ARM move and the Surface launch. It will be interesting to see what the impact will be of that and Ballmer’s recent statement about offering more Services like Apple.

          Whether W7 is very good depends on who you ask. For *my* use cases Fedora is a better and more secure OS than W7. So where W7 sorta works for me, Fedora works better. But I’m sure there are many who think W7 is the greatest thing since sliced bread. And good for them.

          • guest

            Intel and AMD, yes. What’s your point? That’s a commitment to where volume is, not to Microsoft per se. Maybe you noticed that Intel “committed” to Apple for the same reason? Or worked with Google on Chromium OS? Perhaps their Meego effort rings some bells? All those predate MS’s ARM and Surface announcements. On the OEM side, virtually all of them offered UNIX, Linux, and even Android before MS ever announced their ARM or Surface plans (and they’re probably happy about the ARM support). These are business alliances, not marriages. There’s no “till death do us part”. Everyone is jockeying for position in a rapidly changing market. If you’re confused about any of this, just refer to previous bff’s Google and Apple.

  • guest

    Very poor judgment by Otellini, not to mention whatever Intel employee decided to leak this story. And subsequently calling it “unsubstantiated” only serves to compound the mistake and keep the story in the news.

  • Guest

    IE 10 in Windows 8 is a mess.

    Should we just accept more bugs in the software then? Should we just accept sub par software then because you tell us to?

    I’m sure Windows 8 will be great for tablets, but for laptops and desktops, it is not productive.

  • Forrest Corbett

    Releasing something before it’s “ready” is Balmer’s mantra. When Vista was taking a long time and and Gates was at the helm, he said it would be released when it was “ready.” Then Balmer took over and gave a launch data for Vista and said it would be released then no matter what, and it was.

    I’m all for clean interfaces, but testing in W8 has been brutal. Even the GM still seems like a prototype to me. There’s some very basic UI mistakes.

    • guest

      Totally inaccurate, and I’m a Ballmer critic.

      Like Vista, the ultimate decision to ship resides with the President of Windows, not Ballmer.

      • Forrest Corbett

        So you’re saying Balmer never made that statement? Sorry, but he did.

        • guest

          I’m saying what I said. The president of Windows makes the decision. So if you want to try and refute that, do so.

          • Forrest Corbett

            That still doesn’t mean nor imply Balmer didn’t say that. I remember it clearly as I was glad to hear Gates say it would be ready when it was ready… then later the strong contrast by Ballmer. I tried searching for news articles, but there’s a ton related to Ballmer and Vista’s ship date and it’s not worth my time to sift through them to prove it to you, “guest”.

  • Jason Gerard Clauss

    God I sure hope they don’t Microsoft Flight this thing.

  • Jhonny Pitt


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