MICROSOFT’S pressure on Intel to drop Linux is a subject that we’ve covered using antitrust material in:
- Bill Gates: “Where Are We on This Jihad?” (Against Linux at Intel)
- Microsoft on Intel’s Anti-Linux: “Please Keep Confidential. This is a Nightmare”
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. █