Robert McLaws: Windows Edition

Blogging about Windows since before Vista became a bad word

Don't Believe Everything You Heard At TechEd Australia

So there were two really big pieces of Microsoft news last week, that were talked about on practically every Microsoft website. Both were about feature cuts. Both came from TechEd Australia. And both were grossly inaccurate. I dunno what the MS guys are doing down in Australia, but apparently checking facts was not very high-up on the to-do list.

For me at least, it's another reminder that I need to always make sure my facts are straight before I open my mouth. But it just goes to show you that most journalists nowadays would rather be first than right. It's a sad state of affairs.



  • dan_warne said:
    Just to clarify, the "Microsoft guy" that made the mistake was a Senior Program Manager for Security from Microsoft USA. He wasn't some uninformed rep from the Australian subsidiary.

    Secondly, your comment that "most journalists nowadays would rather be first than right. It's a sad state of affairs" is quite ironic, because you're doing exactly what you're being critical of.

    I am the journalist who wrote the original story and before I posted it, I sat down with the Senior Program Manager Steve Riley and the head of security for Microsoft Australia to double-check the facts with them. I was distinctly focused on getting the facts right rather than being first.

    Also, I wouldn't be surprised if Steve Riley's comments were essentially correct and that Microsoft has either changed its mind following the uproar, OR that it has decided to split hairs over who will be preventing playback of high-def DRMed content on 32bit. (It's not us!! It's the software providers!!) Users won't really care at the end of the day _who_ is stopping the playback, just whether they can or can't do it.
    August 28, 2006 6:35 PM
  • dan_warne said:
    And also, "don't believe anything you heard at TechEd Australia" is a really grossly inflammatory headline.

    Were you there, or are you drawing a rash assumption based on a smattering of news reports?

    The sessions were great. Steve Riley's Vista System Integrity presentation was very interesting and well delivered.

    Unfortunately he did make the HD playback comment which is what I reported on, but his presentation overall was interesting, detailed and engagingly delivered. I plan to listen through the recording and draw out more interesting points that he talked about, like how exactly TPM modules work in relation to Vista, etc.

    It kinda annoys me when bloggers worldwide report as if they were at an event, but they actually weren't.
    August 28, 2006 6:43 PM
  • What was the security guy doing talking about video anyways? I went back and looked at the Powerpoint decks from WinHEC 2006, and there was nothing in there differentiating between the content mechanisms on the 32-bit and 64-bit platforms. It also said that MS was only providing the pipeline, and that the software vendors like InterVideo would be the ones making the codecs, just like DVDs on XP today.

    And Microsoft wouldn't have backpedaled without trumping it as another reason why the feedback system works, so I don't buy that either.

    And that still doesn't explain the Office 2007 story either. Ya, these people are human. Ya, they make mistakes. So you fell victim to the fact that yours sources were wrong and you had the best of intentions. Did you check with the Windows Media team to cross-verify the assertions of the security team? Probably not.

    And you may be annoyed about "bloggers talking about it like they were there when they weren't", but I stayed out of it when your story was false. I didn't jump into the fray until I saw a pattern that made me question the validity of what was said there.
    August 29, 2006 9:01 AM