Tempest, teapot, blah blah blah


Letters full of legalese are flying out of Microsoft telling the owners of various news sites and blogs to cease, desist, and knock it the hell off....

The latest raging shitstorm to come out of Redmond is the reaction to the on-line postings of this somewhat innocuous screenshot / demo screen:



Supposedly, this is the first look at the new version of Windows Mobile (codename: Magneto), and it would seem to be an accurate one because letters full of legalese are flying out of Microsoft telling the owners of various news sites and blogs to cease, desist, and knock it the hell off. The burning question here ... what is the big deal? There are no ground-breaking elements on the screen, no big secrets ("Whoa! Microsoft has a Start Menu? I'll be damned!"), and if you have ever seen Windows SmartPhone you will realize that this is just a redesign to bring the two flavours of on-the-go Windows into a common look and feel. In fact, if it wasn't for all of the thinly-veiled threats from Microsoft, I would have been tempted to assume that this was a SmartPhone screen and some smartass was trying to pass it off as a real scoop on the new version of Mobile. So why all the fuss?

Mystery aside, Neowin , Engadget , and MoDaCo have all received missives regarding the horrible crimes they have indulged in by posting this image. All three are respectable and above-board sites that probably do nothing more sinister than boost sales of Microsoft products in the long run by getting people interested and excited about new products. What possible upside can there be to play this game of legal brinksmanship? And is this the start of the much-feared "online libel chill" that bloggers have been quietly worrying about? Stay tuned ...

Posted: Sat - January 22, 2005 at 04:58 AM        


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