There has been a lot of talk in the blogosphere about how it it replacing old media. The response of old media seems to be that the blogosphere is uncontrolled and therefore inaccurate. The response back has been that the blogosphere is self-policing. If someone says something inaccurate, they won’t last long. Today we see a stark example of why the blogosphere is still flawed. David Richards writes an article claiming that Microsoft is delaying Windows Vista in order to rewrite 60% of the code. Not only that, but we’re going to have the XBox team come save us and start working on Windows. If you actually read the article, the numbers appear to be pulled out of thin air. The number 60% shows up in the headline and the opening sentence. It’s not actually ever sourced.
Whether it is memeorandum or slashdot, the blogosphere seems eager to suspend disbelief when it comes to bad news about Microsoft. Memeorandum links to more than 15 articles, only a handful of which call the number seriously into question. Think about the scope of the claim. Windows is reported to be something like 40-50 millions lines of code (I haven’t counted them myself). If that is true, we’re going to rewrite 25 million of them? I think not.
The blogosphere is not as objective as it might think that it is. Often times the community policing works but there is also a bias and when something plays into that bias, the policing breaks down. It will be interesting to see if cooler heads prevail here soon.