Unsurprising, IMO. I've also received confirmation that the announcement could have happened up to a year ago which is, according to my memory, when rumors really started among fellow publishers.
And Dungeons & Dragons’ designers are also planning to undertake an exceedingly rare effort for the gaming industry over the next few months: asking hundreds of thousands of fans to tell them how exactly they should reboot the franchise
In other words, WotC is taking a page from Paizo's playbook. Paizo's taken the reins away from WotC. And honestly, good on them. WotC's development of a new game expressly for the reason of IP protection (because of the OGL) was ill-advised, ill-planned, and ill-executed, IMO.
Finally, the plug (which is what it is - there is no article-based reason for the mention) for the other gaming system mentioned in the article is transparent when you know that the developer of that game and the author are friends and shared the same booth with yours truly last year.
According to WotC there will be a first-draft of the new rules available for attendees of the Jan 2012 D&D Experience. Another point of confirmation regarding the duration of 5e development.