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01.31.09

Bill Gates on Linux@Intel: “This Huge Driver Group Scares Me.”

Posted in Antitrust, Bill Gates, GNU/Linux, Hardware, Kernel at 10:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Scared frog

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


Read the rest of this entry »

Novell Lays Off Around 1,000 Employees (Corrected)

Posted in Novell at 8:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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.”

Richard Stallman

Correction (01/02/2009): Matt has corrected his post. The layoffs were a lot smaller in terms of scale. Update will soon come.

Bill and Melinda Gates Instruct Countries They Invest in to Feed Pharmaceuticals They Invest In

Posted in Bill Gates, Finance, Microsoft at 6:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Perfect plot

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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