As to what I think about what has been announced? I am cautiously optimistic. I will get the books just I did with all other previous edition. I still feel that DnD Next will be a good second choice for the OSR. A game that we can play and enjoy at conventions and game stores but still continuing to use our favorite editions as our main system.
I think that the signs are there that Wizards is going to distribute a set of character creation rules covering the basics. That it will probably look similar to the B/X style character creation rules both in content and brevity.
Continuing the speculation, it will be a end run around Paizo if Wizards prints this as well as a freebie that anybody can pick up at their game store. Especially if they consider this primarily a marketing tool and use the marketing budget to fund it. Then turn around and use what they saved on the Starter Box budget to pack it additional content they otherwise could not include.
I don't consider pre-gen characters bad as long as they are an addition to the regular character creation rules and not in liu of it. I am also open minded that they just may found a better way of distributing a RPG ruleset other than putting everything in a box or books.
I will also point out that while the Pathfinder Beginners Box set is pretty good, it still a sealed game box. To somebody in the game store, they have to buy the box and open it before they can see what it truly is. If Wizards is smart and has a printed booklet sitting in the stores, this allows gamers to read something substantial before deciding whether the Starter Set is worth buying.
But in the end until Wizards get their marketing communication straightened out we are all guessing.