Intel-Dell Kickbacks Lead to Thinking About Exclusionary Contracts Affecting Linux

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Hardware, Microsoft at 10:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

We would like to use this space to announce—or at the very least share—what I believe to be breaking news. Let us discuss an issue which indirectly involves Novell. It is also one that involves a broader scope.

The famous trio that is Dell, Intel and Microsoft seems tighter than ever, owing to the trial in Iowa, among other factors. Evidence of kickbacks are resurfacing. Dell, which has just welcomed Michael Dell (he takes the throne again), sinks in deep mud rather quickly.

Investors sue Dell on payments from Intel: WSJ

An investor lawsuit seeking class-action status accuses Dell Inc. of improper accounting in its relationship with chip giant Intel, according to a media report published Thursday evening.


The suit alleges that Dell received at times as much as $1 billion a year in “secret and likely illegal” kickbacks in the form of “e-Cap” or “exception to corporate average pricing” payments” from Intel to ensure that Dell used no other chip supplier, according to The Journal.

Here are some stories which could serve as partial and incomplete proof that Dell, Intel, and even Microsoft have been excluding their competitors. They have also cut Linux out of its ‘air supply’, as Microsoft once referred to it, over the many years (the links at the bottom).

On Intel-AMD-OEM(Dell) affairs:

On Microsoft-Linux-OEM(Dell) affairs:

To Novell — be aware who you’re messing with.

Jim Allchin, who has just retired from Microsoft, said it best:

Here’s part of what Allchin said about how to deal with the competitive threat from Novell then:

“We need to slaughter Novell before they get stronger….If you’re going to kill someone, there isn’t much reason to get all worked up about it and angry. You just pull the trigger. Any discussions beforehand are a waste of time. We need to smile at Novell while we pull the trigger.”

Speculations and Observations: SUSE Linux-Windows Intersection

Posted in Interoperability, Kernel, Microsoft, Novell, OpenSUSE, SLES/SLED, Windows at 2:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

For the past few months, if not years, people have discussed the possibility of Microsoft picking a BSD (or even Linux) kernel, then (re-)building their operating system using software like Wine. With the recent release of Windows Vista, which leads to many backward compatibility issues, prospects of such crazy decisions are disturbingly convenient to grasp.

Microsoft’s deal with Novell brought back to mind such fantasies (or “nighmare scenarios”, depending on your point of view). I wish to present two new essays which touch on the subject.

Windows Software Installation by Novell

As an Ubuntu user, I found myself looking for the angle as Novell has long since lost my trust after giving Microsoft the keys to their front door (in the virtual sense). And as this whole thing felt more and more suspicious as to their future motive for such a move, it all started to make sense:

“One of our future goals is to even make packages for Windows at some point in time,” Holger Dyroff, vice president of outbound product management for SUSE Linux Enterprise at Novell, told internetnews.com. “It’s still a research project that is ongoing but we are not limited to just RPM.”

Combining Linux Kernel with Windows

Microsoft would be lying if they tried to convince any of us that the thought had never entered their mind, even if it was nothing more than a stomachache causing a nightmare with some key developers. After all, in many respects, Linux is considered the forbidden fruit that most closed source developers are afraid to touch.

But what would be wild in a totally fictional, never going to happen kind of world, would be to see Microsoft acquiring Novell and begin using SLED (SuSE Enterprise) to push cash cows, such as Microsoft Office, among other Microsoft applications.

Microsoft OpenXML/ODF Translator 1.0

Posted in Fork, Formats, Intellectual Monopoly, Interoperability, Marketing, Microsoft, Novell, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Virtualisation at 1:18 am by Shane Coyle

Here is the press release, and I went over to the project page and was unimpressed – it looks like this is Win32 only, and it’s written in C#.

Novell apparently will be adding this translator to OOO, will Novell’s OOO require Mono to achieve interoperability with this C# plugin?

Of course, no Microsoft "interoperability" press release could go without the words "intellectual property", with Microsoft trotting out Novell as the example of how to interoperate with Windows properly: by paying Microsoft royalties for the privilege.

The Open XML Translator is one among many interoperability projects Microsoft has undertaken. Microsoft continues to work with others in the industry to deliver products that are interoperable by design and provide access to its technologies through avenues such as the technical collaborations with AOL LLC and Yahoo! Inc. for instant messaging interoperability, the creation of the Interoperability Vendor Alliance and the Interoperability Customer Executive Council, and the broad collaboration with Novell on virtualization, document formats and intellectual property.

Danaergeschenk, Will Robinson! Danaergeschenk!

Update: Apparently, this is the Microsoft half of the project, with Novell to provide the OOO side, so perhaps my concern over the Win32-only thing was premature.

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