Great moments in journalism: “Confirmed Microsoft Surface Pro 5 launch date”

Raymond Chen

Today I wish to draw your attention to this article: Confirmed: Microsoft Surface Pro 5 to be launched in June [2016]. I added the “2016” because the article didn’t give a year in its headline, but it was posted in May 2016, so it was clearly referring to June 2016.

Even though the headline says “Confirmed”, if you actually read the article, you’ll find that it’s nearly all rumor and speculation.

It seems that…

Reports say Microsoft has released these ads in order to indicate that the release of Surface Pro 5 is imminent. …

Rumours are swirling that the tablet will be unveiled in June along with Surface Book 2. …

Some reports claim that…

The Surface Pro 5 may… [I]t is expected that…

There are only two statements in the entire article that are actually put forth as facts rather than speculation.

  1. “Recently, a patent for the Surface Pen was found on U.S. Patent & Trademark Office website.” This is easily verified.
  2. “The base model of Surface Pro 5 Core i5 will be priced at $899 while, [sic] the i7 processor model will cost $999.” This is stated as fact without any source.

Of course, none of the allegedly-confirmed details actually came true in June 2016. So much for “confirmed”.