Intel today denied a rumor from earlier this week that suggested CEO Paul Otellini told employees Microsoft was releasing its Windows 8 operating system before it was fully ready. Intel referred to the hype that ensued as “unsubstantiated news reports” and quoted Otellini going on record to say that “Windows 8 is one of the best things that ever happened to Intel.”

The rumor was first started when Bloomberg published a story citing “a person who attended the company event.” In addition to the “before it’s fully ready” comment, this individual also claimed Otellini told employees that improvements still need to be made to the software. The statements were all reportedly made at a private meeting yesterday in Taipei, Taiwan.

This rumor smash is not surprising given that Intel and Microsoft are very close partners. Yet it’s not clear why Intel felt the need to deny this particular rumor given that the company, like most technology firms, doesn’t comment on rumors.

In my mind, there are two possible scenarios here. If the original story is true (notice Intel doesn’t explicitly deny Otellini’s supposed statement), then Microsoft definitely pressured Intel as it wants to limit any bad press around Windows 8 that it can. On the other hand, if the original story is false, then clearly Intel felt this was a severe enough case that it was necessary to protect its name.

Microsoft is planning to release Windows 8 in exactly a month from today: on October 26. The software giant is selling upgrade copies for $39.99 and $69.99, depending if you want the digital download or the physical boxed copy, respectively.

The full press release regarding today’s announcement is below:

Today Intel Corporation issued a statement in response to unsubstantiated news reports about comments made by Intel CEO Paul Otellini in a meeting with employees.

Intel has a long and successful heritage working with Microsoft on the release of Windows platforms, delivering devices that provide exciting experiences, stunning performance, and superior compatibility. Intel fully expects this to continue with Windows 8.

Intel, Microsoft and our partners have been working closely together on testing and validation to ensure delivery of a high-quality experience across the nearly 200 Intel-based designs that will start launching in October. Intel CEO Paul Otellini is on record as saying “Windows 8 is one of the best things that ever happened to Intel,” citing the importance of the touch interface coming to mainstream computing and the huge wave of exciting new Ultrabook™, tablet and convertible device innovations coming to the market.

See also: Only 2,000? Developer interest in Windows 8 is stagnant, opening a new line of worry for Microsoft and Irony: Windows Phone dev excitement could boost Windows 8′s young ecosystem

Image credit: Sue Butler