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Woo! My favorite journalist is back with more XP SP3 'news'

LOL. This guy just never stops. Which I'm sort of OK with, because he's such a train wreck.

Here's what happened.

Yesterday, bloggers over at Neowin spied a page on the Microsoft Web site stating that Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) had been released on March 31, 2008. Finally, our misguided buddy Kevin McLaughlin over at ChannelWeb had the evidence he needed to continue his tirade over the non-issue of the release date of XP SP3 (a tirade I have repeatedly disproven here, here and here). Thrill to the evocative language he uses here, by the way:

After weeks of intense speculation in the blogosphere and within Microsoft's channel, Microsoft has finally released Windows XP service pack 3 to manufacturing, and has done so with a minimum of fanfare.

A Microsoft partner who requested anonymity confirmed that XP SP3 was released to manufacturing this week to enterprises, and said it should take about three weeks for Microsoft to ramp up production of the media to deliver XP SP3 to the masses.

Many solution providers believe Microsoft is dragging its feet on releasing XP SP3 for fear that it might divert attention away from Vista.

There's just one problem. It's not true. (Like everyone but Kevin McLaughlin didn't see this one coming.) XP SP3 was not released on March 31. And it's still on track for H1 2008, as always. How do we know this? Because ZD blogger Mary Jo Foley took ten seconds to compose an email to Microsoft, which told her that the Web page was just a mistype:

Microsoft officials told me on April 2 the date was a typo and that XP SP3 still has not RTM’d.

Ten second of research. Sometimes that's all it takes.

Fact check time

I'd like to point out that what this guy has done, again, is invent the news. I mentioned in previous posts how he did this, but he continues wagging the dog in this one:

After weeks of intense speculation in the blogosphere and within Microsoft's channel...

He invented this speculation with his invented news stories and then pretended the blogosphere was debating it when in fact it was just him. But I do like how he expanded his claim this time to include "Microsoft's channel." The debate is growing! It's even more "intenser" now!

But this might be my favorite part. Think about how insane this is...

Further complicating matters is the existence on the Microsoft Download Center of a Windows XP Service Pack 3 Overview document that appears to have been originally published in 2007, but which Microsoft indicates was published on April 1. The document bears no discernable differences from the one Microsoft published to the Download Center in late March, which some industry watchers took as a sign of XP's imminent release.

Further complicating matters is the fact that the document in question was, in fact, first published in 2007, a matter I established in a previous post about this buffoonery. (I have a copy of its from December, for example.) That the April 1 revision of the document bears a strong resemblance to previous versions is not surprising. That anyone would take that as "a sign" of any release is ludicrous; the document has been repeatedly updated since last year. The notion that "industry watchers" (other than Kevin, of course) believed this is, of course, a lie (or, at the very least, a bit of speculation). Again, he's drawing conclusions and then attributing them to nebulous others so he can write about it as if he didn't invent this himself. It's cunning, if insane. These articles are like intelligence tests for bloggers: If you link to one without ridiculing this guy, you failed.

This article was updated to include comment from Microsoft

This I found confusing, as the sentence is grammatically questionable and there's no actual quote from a Microsoft spokesperson in the article. What is there, however, is a line that reads, "A Microsoft spokesperson said the March 31st date listed on the support page is incorrect, and that the final version of Windows XP SP3 is still on target to be released during the first half of the year." This was inserted right in the middle of the article. If I am reading this correctly, and I am after all a very simple person, then Microsoft in effect completely discredited this entire article. But he published their statement about this in that same article, and left the rest of it up there, speculation and all, anyway.

Put simply, he apparently did in fact do ten seconds of research, was proven incorrect, but left the article up as-is. It must have been too sensational to pull. (Another theory: Microsoft could have contacted him, and not vice versa. This wouldn't surprise me, given how crazy these articles are.)



I hope Kevin's latest XP SP3 article gets picked up by all the bloggers. This is, after, a sensational story that has been speculated about intensely in the blogoshere ever since XP SP3 was delayed several times since 2006.

Or something.

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