MICROSOFT’S pressure on Intel to drop Linux is a subject that we’ve covered using antitrust material in:
Today we turn our attention to Exhibit px06567 (1999)
[PDF]. This is a confidential report from an Intel-Microsoft meeting that involved Jim Allchin, David Cole, Paul Gross, Frank Artale, Carl Stork, Brian Ball, Bill Veghte, Tom Phillips, Jim Ewel, Jeff Havens, Mike Wehrs, Marshall Brumer, and Mike Porter from Microsoft. Attending from Intel: Pat Gelsinger Albert Yu, John Miner, Bob Jecman, Dan Russell, Fred Pollack, Jean McNamara, Richard Wirt, Frank Ehrig, Mike Webb and several others.
This report describes many of the key points from that meeting and it is delivered just internally (at Microsoft) by Marshall Brumer. Added to his circulation are some executives who did not attend the meeting with Intel. These include Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, and Paul Maritz.
Microsoft set up an internal site, http://msintel — something which it has done for various other issues like “linux”. We saw this here for example.
Here is a gem on security:
- Security – We have been stuck in this area-for a while. We are working to setup a meeting that is basically a go/nogo meeting to identify the areas we can/will work with Intel on and move forward. They goal is to cut through some of challenges in this area in one giant step and move on.
Here is a bit about drivers:
- Driver Signing at Intel – Intel is creating a large focus behind drivers and driver quality. They are creating a completely separate organization to createt/test drivers outside the silicon groups to better align the driver goals with quality rather than silicon schedules. We are supporting their efforts and working on a plan to let Intel self sign their drivers over the long run.
This says nothing about Linux and yet, Gates could not help uttering in response to this:
Is Intel planning to write drivers for Linux? This huge driver group scares me. Its them doing something we should do and they will do it cross OS in a way that could be a real problem for us. Maybe not but we should find out whether this is the case.
Gates said this only to a reduced number of people who are closer to his high circle (Veghte, Allchin, Maritz, among a few more) and it’s marked “confidential”.
Why was Gates so concerned about Linux despite the fact that it was not mentioned in the report? Let’s not forget his attempt to sabotage ACPI for Linux. Also, what’s so wrong with “cross OS”? Can Gates not tolerate competition? Is he interested in making microchips Windows-only?
Going back to the report, here is an interesting bit:
Intel is concerned that ‘we’ are missing the boat in the value platform area down at the ‘lnternet Appliance’ offering. Pat is the one who is very charged up over this. He sees us completely missing the boat with both the IA architecture and Windows being of no value here unless we move the PC down into that space (rather than what is currently happening with other platforms moving up into that space.)
The report also mentions NC, which we covered before and have lots more in store about (how Microsoft turned Intel against NC). There are many exhibits that we need to organise and process in order to show them properly.
The latter mention of NC includes:
Jim’s position is that this is the NC all over again in the consumer space. Most folks in the room agreed with this thinking and that since we had handled this before ala NetPC, that we could do this again. There is more work to be done here and David agreed to drive the thinking at MS and work with the right folks at Intel to explore this area. I will work with Dan Russell at Intel to get the joint parts of this going.
This is a funny:
Intel believes that they are more engaged with the consumer folks than MS (ala 5C) and thus we don’t get the picture.
Then it returns to drivers:
Driver Signing Discussion
Intel wanted to stress to us their committment to better drivers and ultimately being able to test and sign their own drivers. They are building up a huge number of people (~450) to work in this area. These folks include a driver software quality lab, platform driver quality lab and software qualification process team. Overall, the broad goal is to do driver development completely separate from silicon development so the goals of the driver folks are not put second to the goals of the silicon guys, At Intel, this means that the driver guys having a quality goal rather than a ship date only goal. This is good for us and good for Intel.
WHQL is working on a plan with Intel to implement this and things are looking good. The only real sticking point is what happens to Intel if they sign a driver that really should be failing. MS wants to reserve the right to pull the signature and Intel does not want this to ever happen. We will clearly revisit this issue, but still need to make this happen going forward.
We also need to make sure that part of the process at intel is to always be in sync with the development group within MS that is shipping the OS the driver supports. We cannot afford to have Intel doing their work and just sending us a ‘completed’ driver at the end of the process. Intel agrees with this and we will drive to make sure this is part of the process.
The exhibit as a whole is below. █
Appendix: Comes vs. Microsoft – exhibit px06567, as text
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Matt Asay has the details.
In inside source at Novell just informed me that Novell laid off a considerable percentage of its workforce on Friday, suggesting that “basically an across-the-board reduction of 25 percent” had been made. The news came in too late to seek comment from Novell, but I will try to get an update over the weekend.
“[I]t doesn’t excuse developing proprietary software. A desire for profit is not wrong in itself, but it isn’t the sort of urgent overriding cause that could excuse mistreating others. Proprietary software divides the users and keeps them helpless, and that is wrong. Nobody should do that.”
Correction (01/02/2009): Matt has corrected his post. The layoffs were a lot smaller in terms of scale. Update will soon come.
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BEFORE anyone attacks the message (or messenger), this post and its accompanying videos must be watched, being a part of cumulative research. There is a lot of disinformation out there about the Gates Foundation — disinformation of the type which blindly glorifies it. The press that’s responsible for this is sometimes funded by Gates himself and the reporters merely part of the Gates Foundation. We gave examples — in the form of actual evidence — several times before.
One of our readers brought to our attention the following news article, which may look very innocent.
Bill and Melinda Gates said Friday they were encouraging government and business leaders to keep investing in health and development in poor countries — especially during the global financial crisis.
This subject was discussed in IRC yesterday, but suffice to say, there ought to be a summary that brings together previous posts on the subject.
As we showed before, the Gates Foundation invests heavily in governments worldwide and it has great impact on the United States government too (this is common knowledge to many). Overall, this amounts to a level of influence that can leverage government funding and ensure, for example, that education is always done with Microsoft products. In cases where this does not work and public pressure plays its role, there are fallbacks.
“More importantly, Microsoft’s Gates is a big investor in these very same pharmaceuticals, so he essentially makes money when budgets are passed from governments (that he invests in too) to pharmaceuticals.”This brings us to the news report above. It indicates that The Gateses urge politicians to “invest in health and development in poor countries.” To a large extent, this means paying a lot of money to pharmaceutical giants whose medicine is invariantly withheld from those in need, owing to patents and the likes of such mechanisms. More importantly, Microsoft’s Gates is a big investor in these very same pharmaceuticals, so he essentially makes money when budgets are passed from governments (that he invests in too) to pharmaceuticals.
The good side effect is that children receive aid, but given that many of the same children are killed by Gates’ investment in cheap petroleum, this is a questionable practice, not to mention the tax haven that a seemingly charitable foundation provides. We have already covered all this, along with extensive supportive evidence. It’s mostly right here.
It ought to be added that most of the money which feeds this cycle comes from taxpayers, some of whom live in poor countries, so it’s a nice closed system and a zero-sum game to those who know how to play it. The PR gain is vast.
This analysis is pretty conventional and we have seen it before. █
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Microsoft retaliates against Intel in order to abolish GNU/Linux
IN previous E-mails that reveal Microsoft’s fight against Linux at Intel, Bill Gates called it a "Jihad". This is a furious battle that Microsoft secretly had going against Intel’s support for Linux. This was so secret that Microsoft executives even abstained from telling their peers about it. “Please keep confidential. this is a nightmare…,” wrote Bill Veghte for example. There was great caution there because someone could lose a job over the mischief (leak), which Brian Valentine was eventually allowed to know about.
Let’s take this one small step at a time and handle this chronologically using the 3 exhibits we have at hand (full texts appended at the bottom). We start with Exhibit px06782 (June-July 2000)
Joachim Kempin writes to people up at the top, namely Bill Gates and David Heiner. He states that:
As I mentioned at the retreat we have a huge problem with Intel going against us with Linux.
This is said in reference to the news that Intel is investing $100,000,000 in development that involves Linux.
This issue was not brought up by Joachim Kempin (OEM chief) however. It also involved familiar names like Steve Ballmer and Bill Veghte. This exhibit, while heavily redacted (what’s so confidential that it must be hidden from the courts?), does show Bill Veghte’s nervousness where he says:
Please keep confidential. this is a nightmare…
This whole thing came through Bill Veghte who spotted a CNET article. Tom Phillips, who reported to Veghte (probably his boss) and Kim Akers from the Windows team, writes:
Yes, but we need to be incredibly sensitive with this data. It was disclosed with extreme
concern. If Mary finds out that we know, someone will loose their job at Compaq who is
very helpful to MSFT.
Who is Mary? And who is that someone from Compaq (now part of H-P) who is “very helpful to MSFT”? Does Microsoft have ‘insiders’ in other companies? Companies that are intended — at least by their very nature — to focus mostly on hardware and remain impartial with only their own goals in mind? Is Compaq trying to accomplish the same things as Microsoft? The current collusion with Intel is a crime which Microsoft might be forced to pay billions in remedy for. At a later stage, we will present detailed antitrust evidence about Compaq and Microsoft.
Anyway, why would someone “lose their job”? It sure smells like some form of violation of ethics, if not a violation of the law.
It is explained a little earlier (by Tom Phillips) that:
According to Compaq insiders, the money is targeted at Enterprise and ISP/ASP Sun systems, where Intel will provide a stipend to Compaq $20MM for the efforts necessary to insure that these are Linux based IA32 (and eventually IA64) based sales. Compaq stated that it would rather vector the business to Windows, but that was not an option with Intel.
So Intel insists against Windows (we saw this before). Microsoft feels as though it needs to respond or retaliate.
We move on in time (just days/weeks) and find Exhibit px06791 (July 2000)
[PDF]. Bill Veghte writes to Bill Gates, Neil Calvin, Mike Porter, Robbie Bach, Brian Valentine, Bob McBreen, Peyton Smith, Tom Phillips, and Thomas Koll. Here is the punch:
We do have some damage control to do with them and we are going to have to work hard to change the direction they are going down particularly in sw investments around Linux.
So a whole team from Microsoft flew all the way to ensure that Linux receives no investments? Well, since Jim Allchin sees a "huge threat" in Linux and feels "scared" of it, maybe all of this is predictable.
Here is the bit about Intel and Linux:
As a sidenote, I probed hard with John on how hard Intel was pushing Linux in general. I came away pretty convinced that these are not the guys that I was hitting with our OEMs here and the Far East (Bill/Steveb: if you have not read the piece of mail BrianV sent you last week on Intel and Linux, please do so). John’s guys are focused on the networking and telecommunications space and these were not companies or groups that I have been talking with. My bet is that it is coming from Mike Fister’s org.
In this message, for the uninitiated, “Bill” is Bill Gates, “Steveb” is Steve Ballmer and “BrianV” is Brian Valentine, who is now doing his damage from inside Amazon [1, 2]. He also corrupted analysts for anti-Linux studies.
Here is another bit about Linux where Tom Phillips is assigned to handle it.
We have the model in place based on our design wins at Dell and Compaq and in my opinion, we should be just as aggressive on price as we were with Dell. The two other appliance efforts that we will engage on are small business server (I talked at a conceptual level about Central service and Intel, with the WEN product and they liked the idea) and provisioning server. They were particularly enthusiastic about the provisioning server. We should engage in dialog but this will be a lively internal debate about whether we move to an appliance solution/strategy for this. This group is where there Linux Investment Is heaviest In my opinion and can cause us the most pain. TomPh will take the lead here.
More on Linux here:
–> Network devices group: Most of their stuff is on VXWorks today. They are doing some stuff in Linux and looking at Win2k. We need to accelerate this evaluation and where appropriate get them on board if there is real business here They aren’t particularly happy with vxworks so we should also think about them on WinCE with an aggressive source license.
This whole message was sent in reply to “Intel call – Paul Ottelini”. The message is omitted from the exhibit (“Privileged”), but this was sent from Bill Gates to Neil Calvin, Mike Porter, Robbie Bach, Brian Valentine, Bill Veghte, Bob McBreen. Copies were also sent to Kate Sako, Dan Crouse, Steve Ballmer, Joachim Kempin, Paul Maritzm, Eric Rudder, Bill Neukom, and Carl Stark.
Finally, we have this third exhibit, Exhibit px03112 (August 2000)
[PDF]. It’s about Intel and it was sent from Joachim Kempin to Bill Gates. It’s utterly disgusting, but then again, Joachim Kempin was arrested for illegally shooting (and killing) antelopes for leisure, so phrases like “I am thinking of putting hitting the OEM harder than in the past with anti Linux actions” are by no means surprising. One person who used to work for Joachim Kempin told me about his strong accent and very hard stance, indicating that this is an unpleasant person. Anyway, here is his message to Bill Gates, in full (exhibit as a whole in Appendix C).
I have been trying to gather some background info. The more I dig in it becomes clear that Intel is connecting with all the UNIX groups inside the large OEMs who are not MS friendly in the first place and are encouraging them to go to Linux-which they call a unified UNIX(which seems stupid even to me)
they throw promotional funds at them to develop new devices based on this OS and are encouraging Itanium work by asking the OEMs to adopt their own apps(middle ware) and encourage some of their key ISVs to do so.
Some of the money is INTEL inside money- the just go beyond the normal rates or qualify Linux adds under the same scheme.
Some OEMs are telling me that the total outlay for Intel is between 100-200M$ year-but there is no hard data for the total amount. Siemens told me they were offered 5-6M$ for this 6 months ago and I know that they funded a netdevice in NEC and made approx. 10M$ available.
I have been sending for some time mail with this info and mentioned it during our exec retreat. The hard part is the answer- in one way we are married to them on the other hand they are destroying the basis for the marriage. To play this the hard way would prob cause more damage than we need and get more attention than we need. On the OEM side I am thinking of putting hitting the OEM harder than in the past with anti Linux actions, in addition I will stop any go-to-market activities with Intel and only work with their competitors (something which is easy to do because they normally put crazy demands on us).
Is that not extortion or blackmail? They pressure Intel with some sort of an embargo — the ransom being that they drop Linux. They use companies like AMD as a bargaining card against software competitors. On it carries:
For the rest of the company this is harder. I have been complaining that we have no real Linux watch-dog group in MS, a lot of people have some ideas and actions around this but nobody is really responsible- I will establish this for OEM, may be we should do it for the company as well.
Yes, Microsoft has a “Linux watch-dog group”. Sounds like one of those “attack groups” Microsoft casually refers to [1, 2]. More recently, Microsoft has been calling these "taskforces" (against Linux).
I do not think you can do more than explaining what that Linux is bad for Intel, let’s leave it there and do as they do- work underground with the clear understanding to promote and advantage the guys with less market share without declaring our strategy.
I would further try to restrict source code deliveries where possible and be less gracious when interpreting agreements- again without being obvious about it. The last thing we need need is them shutting us down- so this will have to be a delicate dance. But openess with them and sharing our real plans should not longer be done- they are not doing it either.
Sorry, Joachim. “Sharing our real plans” is now done. It’s out there for people to see the behaviour you engage in with Bill Gates’ endorsement. █
3 appendices follow.
Appendix A: Comes vs. Microsoft – exhibit px06782, as text
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