EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

07.25.08

Microsoft’s Dirty ACPI Secrets: It’s Back! (Updated)

Posted in Antitrust, Bill Gates, GNU/Linux, Hardware, Microsoft, Windows at 2:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Watch this new page, which is already reaching huge levels of circulation.

Complained to the Federal Trade Commission

http://www.ftc.gov

Foxconn
458 E. Lambert Road Fullerton
Fullerton, CA
92835

FOXCONN PHONE NUMBER: 714-871-9968

Company sold me a computer motherboard, model G33M-S, claiming that it was compliant with ACPI versions 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0.

Linux and FreeBSD do not work with this motherboard due to it’s ACPI configuration, using a disassembler program, I have found that it detects Linux specifically and points it to bad DSDT tables, thereby corrupting it’s hardware support, changing this and setting the system to override the BIOS ACPI DSDT tables with a customized version that passes the Windows versions to Linux gives Linux ACPI support stated on the box, I am complaining because I feel this violates an anti-trust provision in the Microsoft settlement, I further believe that Microsoft is giving Foxconn incentives to cripple their motherboards if you try to boot to a non-Windows OS.

We have received your complaint.

Thank you for contacting the FTC. Your complaint has been entered into Consumer Sentinel, a secure online database available to thousands of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies worldwide. Your reference number is:
19642372

[...]

They detect Linux, give it a bad DSDT table, one that looks ok at a glance, but broken in subtle ways so that some of it works, but not correctly.

You call them to ask why their board won’t run Linux.

They tell you to buy Vista.

They’re basically rubbing Microsoft’s back.

Regular readers may have already seen that Microsoft had been exposed for playing dirty tricks with ACPI.

There’s this blast from the past [PDF], courtesy of Comes vs. Microsoft:

From: Bill Gates
Sent: Sunday, January 24, 1999 8:41 AM
To: Jeff Westorinen; Ben Fathi
Cc: Carl Stork (Exchange); Nathan Myhrvold; Eric Rudder
Subject: ACPI extensions

One thing I find myself wondering about is whether we shouldn’t try and make the “ACPI” extensions somehow Windows specific.

It seems unfortunate if we do this work and get our partners to do the work and the results is that Linux works great without having to do the work.

Maybe there is no way to avoid this problem but it does bother me.

Maybe we could define the APIs so that they work well with NT and not
the others even if they are open.

Or maybe we could patent something related to this.

The next few days will be interesting because reactions to the Foxconn story will be everywhere.

Update: There appear to be some skeptics and apologists trying to defend Foxconn. They ought to see this from the high-reliable and always-credible Phoronix.

Foxconn Does Hate Linux Support

[...]
The DSDT for Windows is correct, but Foxconn isn’t interested in issuing a (simple) update to fix the Linux support. However, this isn’t surprising to us. We’ve known that Foxconn does not wish to support Linux at all. Going back to 2006, Foxconn has told us at Phoronix that they aren’t interested in Linux on their motherboards and they have no desire to support it.

This response from Foxconn is ironic too:

You are incorrect in that the motherboard is not ACPI complaint. If it were not, then it would not have received Microsoft Certification for WHQL.

What does the Microsoft Certification say? “The BIOS ain’t done until Linux won’t run”?

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

9 Comments

  1. Yuhong Bao said,

    July 26, 2008 at 1:07 am

    Gravatar

    The difference is this time they are actually doing it, where last time it was just a suggestion.

  2. David Gerard said,

    July 26, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    Gravatar

    Matthew Garrett attributes it to stupidity rather than malice, and says such stupidity is the norm. (He does a ton of work on ACPI in the Linux kernel.)

  3. Alon David said,

    July 26, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    Gravatar

    Hi,

    I have a lenovo 3000 N100 laptop, and after coming back from sleep mode the fans on the motherboard don’t work anymore, i think this is an ACPI issue (i’ve tested this on multiple kernels) but I have no idea on how to investigate it and fix it, can anybody help ?

    Thanks.

  4. Roy Bixler said,

    July 27, 2008 at 11:36 am

    Gravatar

    No doubt that this is really confusing, so it’s an issue ripe for different interpretations. The exhibit from the Comes Iowa anti-trust case just adds fuel to the fire. On the other hand, it does sound reasonable that the vendor just never bothered testing their board with Linux because they have no intention of supporting that.

    My questions would be the following. Why test for an operating system in the code if there is no intention to support it? Why exactly would a hardware vendor explicitly want to exclude an operating system if supporting it would mean more sales for them?

  5. David Gerard said,

    July 27, 2008 at 11:43 am

    Gravatar

    Matthew Garrett explains it as: everyone copy’n’pastes their ACPI code, and so the Linux code there is probably leftover fragments of junk code that are never executed anyway; the manufacturer bodged something together, checked it didn’t actually catch fire running Vista and shipped. (i.e. such stupidity is the norm.) Here’s his full technical writeup as an expert on ACPI code archaeology.

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    July 27, 2008 at 11:49 am

    Gravatar

    What bothers me a lot is that I regularly find people who ditch Linux for something like Vista just because of ACPI. Here is a brand-new example I found just an hour ago:

    http://llynix.com/articles/linux/i-bid-adieu-ubuntu/

    Yesterday I threw in the towel. I’ve been having problems with ACPI on my new Ubuntu partition. I’ve got other small problems but the ACPI ones are really the deal breaker. A laptop that can’t hibernate isn’t much of a laptop. [...] Perhaps the LiveCD of the new version will fair better, for now though I’m taking a break and going back to the slower, more sluggish but more compatible Vista system.

    Whether there was technical sabotage or not, someone ought to start taking Linux support seriously. That memo from Gates ain’t helping. Foxconn’s attitude (watch the conversations with them), is not helping, either.

  7. David Gerard said,

    July 27, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    Gravatar

    From the Linux side, Matthew is the most prominent person doing so. From the hardware side, the trick is how to make hardware people want to actively support Linux working (which is why Matthew got so annoyed at the conspiracy theorising in the Foxconn case, when he sees only the usual blithering stupidity and incompetence. Dell pushing its suppliers for bits that’ll work well in Ubuntu is basically what we need. The suppliers need to want to support Linux.

  8. Roy Bixler said,

    July 27, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    Gravatar

    @David Gerard:

    Thanks for the technical explanation. It seems to confirm what I’ve already heard about ACPI, which is that it’s complex. The answer in a nutshell thusfar seems to be “it’s either a Linux bug or a BIOS bug.” Either way, I hope it’s sorted. Further down in the comments, Ryan (the original person who reported the problem) indicates that Foxconn managers are now willing to work with the Linux ACPI developers. Apparently, they’re not oblivious to the argument that they could sell more boards if they achieve better compatibility.

  9. Roy Schestowitz said,

    July 27, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    Gravatar

    Ditto. Thanks, David, for putting a rational and positive spin on it. You should see what Carla at Linux Today wrote about this incident.

What Else is New


  1. Christoph Ernst, Long Speculated to be Battistelli's Successor, Becomes Battistelli's 'Boss'

    The next Chairman of the Administrative Council of the EPO is Christoph Ernst from Germany



  2. Bristows LLP is Still Trying to Attach Wings to the UPC and Distract From Serious (Likely Fatal) Barriers to It

    In spite of the UPC being in a morbid state, Bristows carries on pretending that all is rosy and progress is being made



  3. Letter Warns of “Reform Marathon” a Few Days Before Benoît Battistelli's Job is Offered to Someone Else

    New letter states that "although the AC pressurised the president to halt the reform process, the Office is unilaterally proposing further reforms"



  4. EPO Staff Bemoans “Another Reform à la Battistelli That Only Benefits Battistelli”

    A letter from anonymous EPO staff details the ways in which Battistelli's power grab would further harm the EPO



  5. Ignore the Press Releases and Puff Pieces, the EPO is Going on Strikes

    Unrest at the EPO is at an all-time high (strikes planned), but people out there can barely tell because the media -- for the most part -- ignores all this, just like the last time



  6. Links 27/6/2017: Manjaro Linux 17.0.2 is Out, Windows Ransomware on the Loose Worldwide

    Links for the day



  7. Links 26/6/2017: Lumina Version 1.3.0, Final Linux RC

    Links for the day



  8. EPO Strikes in All Four EPO Sites for Two Days This Month and Next Month, Under the “Respect Staff” Banner

    The impact of the strikes at EPO doubles, as two strikes in two months are scheduled, starting this week



  9. Latest EPO Caricature: Staff Committee Maintains Integrity

    Caricature about double failure of Battistelli last week -- a failure which shall result in a general strike fairly soon



  10. Voter Suppression Tactics by Team Battistelli Serve to Reaffirm View That the EPO is an Authoritarian Regime Which Loathes Voting

    In spite of the dirty tricks employed by Team Battistelli, staff managed to guard the integrity of the staff committee and vote for a strike; the dirty tricks, however, will not and should not be forgotten



  11. Leaked: Job Opening Advertised as Battistelli’s 'Mole' at the Administrative Council, Jesper Kongstad, Leaves in Shame

    Having disgraced the Administrative Council of the EPO, e.g. by protecting the person whom he is supposed to supervise, Jesper Kongstad will leave in 3 months



  12. As Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Ramps Up Its Campaign Against Software Patent Trolls the Patent Microcosm Attacks the Messenger (EFF)

    In an effort to thwart Alice and the EFF (two birds, one stone) the patent microcosm goes behind the scenes and saturates the media with misleading articles, including attacks on the EFF itself



  13. In Sandoz v Amgen, the Federal Circuit is Again Found to Have Delivered Patent Injustice

    SCOTUS continues to disagree with CAFC on everything that it decides to reconsider, even the very latest decision (formally delivered earlier this month)



  14. The Supreme Court Can Reassert the Legitimacy of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Later This Year or Next Year

    What lawyers-centric media characterises as a risk to PTAB may actually be an opportunity to silence critics of PTAB and help it carry on squashing bogus patents



  15. The US Patent Office (USPTO) Should Now be Headed by Drew Hirshfeld, a Patent Examiner Who Rose to the Top, Not a Lawyer Like Joseph Matal

    Donald Trump's Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, pushes to the top the patent microcosm rather than technical people who are equipped with the knowledge and experience to run the Office as well as Michelle Lee did



  16. After Latest Supreme Court Rulings on Patents, Including Impression v Lexmark, the Federal Circuit is Left Disgraced

    Hostility towards the patent microcosm's patent maximalism, as witnessed at the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS), culminated in another decision and will soon result in yet more decisions, as SCOTUS has since then picked more patent cases to look at



  17. IBM, Apple and Facebook Pursue Software Patents in India in Defiance of the Ban

    Multinationals from the United States, or digital colonisers with ambitions to spy on and control finance, continue to behave as though Indian law is not applicable to their operations in India and repeatedly attempt to patent software anyway



  18. Wouter Pors Under Fire for Lying or Manipulating in the Name of the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    The argument between Team UPC and other patent professionals (without a lot of eggs in the UPC basket) heats up as Wouter Pors resorts to desperate measures and Bristows belatedly admits constitutional problems in the UK



  19. Systemic Injustice at the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Causes Serious Harm to Complainants' Health, Including EPO Complainants

    The high human cost of ILO's failure to fulfill its stated mission while pretending that it has things under control (that is clearly no longer the case, especially as far as EPO cases go)



  20. Links 24/6/2017: GNOME Music Improves, FreeBSD 11.1 Beta 3

    Links for the day



  21. Microsoft and Bill Gates Become More Actively Involved in Their Biggest Patent Troll (and World's Biggest Troll), Intellectual Ventures

    The world's largest patent troll, which reportedly operates (litigates) through literally thousands of shells, has received yet more financial aid from Microsoft and Bill Gates



  22. The STRONGER Patents Act is One Among Several New Pushes for Patent Chaos in the United States

    US patent law is being 'massaged' again, with bills being pushed forth that propose a return to Armageddon, undoing much of the progress made possible by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA)



  23. SUEPO and the EPO's Central Staff Committee Condemn Battistelli's Latest Attempt to Change the Rules in Defiance of Laws

    Staff representatives at the EPO voice opposition to so-called 'reforms' which are neither desirable nor legal



  24. The Tide Has Turned Against the Unified Patent Court (UPC) and It Finally Looks as 'Alive' as TPP

    The UPC is now stuck if not dead because officials are realising -- however belatedly -- that this entire charade was from start to finish just a coup d'état of the patent 'industry'



  25. Potential Targets of European Patent Office (EPO) Whistleblowing

    Priorities for whistleblowing at the European Patent Office (EPO), which operates secretly and occasionally illegally, too



  26. Links 23/6/2017: Wine 2.11 Released, HPC Domination by GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  27. Primer to the Crisis and Scandals at the European Patent Office (EPO)

    An introduction to the chaotic state of what used to be the world's leading patent office and quickly became Europe's biggest embarrassment



  28. Workers of the European Patent Office (EPO) Are Going on Strike Again, Almost 90% Voted in Favour

    Thousands of brave EPO employees chose to cast a vote and make it known that they are in favour of another strike



  29. Benoît Battistelli Has Lost the Election at the EPO

    FFPE candidates (or moles from the yellow union) failed to enter the Central Staff Committee in spite of Battistelli's attempt to help them get in



  30. Emerging Threat to Patent Reforms at the USPTO

    Our plan of returning to coverage of US patent affairs in the wake of powerful lobbies that pursue patent maximalism


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts