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02.12.09

Bill Gates: “Intel should not just treat us as one of many”

Posted in Antitrust, Bill Gates, GNU/Linux, Hardware, Microsoft at 11:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Should the only one allowed to collaborate with Intel, the world’s top supreme chip maker, be Microsoft?

Gates on tape
Bill Gates Deposition Transcript

FOR a brief moment back in 2007, it was possible to grab a copy of highly confidential E-mails from Microsoft. Having taken a look at those which relate to Intel, we have already published:

From the posts above we are able reach several conclusions:

  1. Microsoft is actively trying to derail simple Linux support (mostly drivers) at Intel
  2. Microsoft insists that Intel should not use GNU/Linux even if it’s suited to the task (Intel chooses productivity over faithfulness to only one vendor, i.e. practicality over exclusivity)
  3. Intel has had bad experiences with Windows and its clients likewise (Intel’s own clients also had bad experiences with Windows). A quote that comes to mind is: ‘The Linux kernel has reached a level of maturity where it mostly goes unnoticed and acts like an “invisible magician in the background”, according to Linus Torvalds.’

Today we take a look at Exhibit px06632 (1999) [PDF]. It is particularly interesting because it shows the inherent anti-competitive attitude of Microsoft’s chairman.

This conversation starts with Microsoft’s Jim Allchin mailing Intel’s Albert Yu. Steve Stanzel responds to Allchin regarding a “joint release/announcement” from the two companies. Allchin wants the Intel affair with Microsoft to be seen publicly. He writes back:

I didn’t really discuss the marketing per se at this level, I would like a joint release if possible.

Steve Stanzel about the not-so-(practically)-platform-agnostic position at Intel:

1 FIRST TO BOOT or FIRST PUBLIC DEMO
It is our understanding, you want us to demonstrate technical leadership by staking the claim ‘first OS to boot on Merced’. Regardless of who is first, the Intel people we work with are under very clear direction to OS-agnostic, it’s almost their mantra. Although they will be the first to admit that ‘others don’t come close the work we have done with Microsoft’ they are unwilling to support any first claims. From a PR perspective, we feel we have good news by being the only OS used in the first public demonstration of Merced silicon.
ACTION REQUESTED If you want us to promote first boot rather than first public demo claims, we need your help at a higher level inside Intel

They are agreeing on a press release and Stanzel writes:

ACTION REQUESTED Will you approve announce 1H00 availability of the beta? Separately in your quote would you approve the following statement? “Microsoft is committed to delivering Windows 2000 64-bit, developer tools and associated Back Office applications concurrent with Merced system availability.” We intend to wrap this up with Intel today. This draft of the release still has first to boot claims in place.

There’s hesitation from Allchin who cannot so easily commit, so then he involves Brian Valentine too.

Craig Beilinson points out:

Jim – Just to clarify where we need some help:
If you feel strongly that we need to get the “first to boot” message in this release, then we will need your help talking to the right people at Intel.

Currently, Intel is pushing back very hard on publically saying that we were “first to boot” on Merced, giving us lots of lip service about being OS-agnostic. They have, however, bought off on publically saying that we will be the “first public demo” of Merced at the upcoming IDF.

This means that Intel unfairly prioritises Windows but it publicly denies this. It’s then that Jim Allchin approaches Bill Gates for his opinion and Gates replies thusly, by ultimately saying:

In any case Intel should not just treat us as one of many. I feel strongly about that.

In other words, Gates believes that Intel should treat Windows specially, despite Intel’s policies (lip service at least).

It’s one thing for Intel to collaborate with a software company but totally another to collaborate with criminal companies. One just needs to look at what Microsoft staff and its decision-makers did (the lesser known truths).


Appendix: Comes vs. Microsoft – exhibit px06632, as text


From: Bill Gates
Sent: Fri, 8/27/1999 10:23 AM
To: Jim Alchin (Exchange)
Cc: Bob Herbold, Mike Porter (Exchange); Deborsh Willingham
Subject: RE: Intel-MS joint press release on 64-bit Windows and Merced

I feel very strongly about this – Intel has to be willing to show that their partnership with us on Merced is not just a me too relationship

We have invested more in Merced than other software companies and we will drive more volume and credibility for them than anyone else.

I don’t know about “first to boot” – if it is true then we should say that

In any case Intel should not just treat us as one of many. I feel strongly about that.

….. Original Message …..
From: Jim Allchin (Exchange)
Sent: Friday, August 27, 1999 9:53 AM
To: Bill Gates
Subject: RE: Intel-MS joint press release on 64-bit Windows and Merced
Importance: High

How strongly do you feel about this?
thanks
jim

From: Craig Beilinson
Sent: Friday. August 27. 1999 9.47 AM
To: Jim Allchin (Exchange); Steve Stanzel; Brian Valentine (Exchange)
Cc; Michei Gambier, Prashant Shukla; On Lee (Exchange), Keith White, Tina Brusca (Exchange), Deborah Willingham; Jeff Havens (Exchange), Bob Rinne (Exchange); Lou Perazzoli (Exchange), On Lee (Exchange)
Subject: RE; Intel-MS joint press release on 64-bit Windows and Merced
Importance: High

Jim – Just to clarify where we need some help:
If you feel strongly that we need to get the “first to boot” message in this release, then we will need your help talking to the right people at Intel.

Currently, Intel is pushing back very hard on publically saying that we were “first to boot” on Merced, giving us lots of lip service about being OS-agnostic. They have, however, bought off on publically saying that we will be the “first public demo” of Merced at the upcoming IDF.

Thanks,
- Craig

….. Original Message …..
From: Jim Allchin (Exchange)
Sent: Friday, August 27, 1999 9:18 AM

Plaintiff’s Exhibit
6632
Comes V. Microsoft

MS-CC-MDL 000000005722
HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL


To: Steve Stanzel, Brian Valentine (Exchange)
Cc: Michel Gambier, Craig Beilinson, Prashant Shukla, On Lee (Exchange), Keith White; Tina Brusca (Exchange), Deborah Willingham; Jeff Havens (Exchange), Bob Rinne (Exchange), Lou Perazzoli (Exchange); On Lee (Exchange)
Subject: FW: Intel-MS joint press release on 64-bit Windows and Merced
Importance: High

1. Please see my changes to the release. I was concerned about the commitments so I backed them down somewhat. Even my back down is a strong commitment. Brian/Jeff and team: Can we live with these commitments? In particular, Beta in 1H00.

2. If there is any chance this might go sideways, you must immediately raise this to me/billg. Bill could call Craig, etc. I still want a joint release.

thanks,
jim

….. Original Message …..
From: Steve Stanzel
Sent: Friday, August 27, 1999 7:34 AM
To: Jim Allchin (Exchange), Tina Brusca (Exchange)
Co: Michel Gambier; Craig Beilinson; Prashant Shukla, On Lee (Exchange), Keith White
Subject: Intel-MS joint press release on 64-bit Windows and Merced
Importance: High

Jim,
WE NEED YOUR INPUT TODAY
We have made good progress with Intel on a joint announcement to be issued next Tuesday the first day of IDF. As you are aware, Intel is working with us to demonstrate 64-bit Windows during Craig’s keynote. There are two items we would like your input on.

1 FIRST TO BOOT or FIRST PUBLIC DEMO
It is our understanding, you want us to demonstrate technical leadership by staking the claim ‘first OS to boot on Merced’. Regardless of who is first, the Intel people we work with are under very clear direction to OS-agnostic, it’s almost their mantra. Although they will be the first to admit that ‘others don’t come close the work we have done with Microsoft’ they are unwilling to support any first claims. From a PR perspective, we feel we have good news by being the only OS used in the first public demonstration of Merced silicon.
ACTION REQUESTED If you want us to promote first boot rather than first public demo claims, we need your help at a higher level inside Intel

2 PRODUCT AVAILABILITY
Intel is pushing hard to see product availability dates in this release. They feel that our execs frequently talk about dates in speeches so it’s appropriate to put expected availability in this announcement to add credibility.
ACTION REQUESTED Will you approve announce 1H00 availability of the beta? Separately in your quote would you approve the following statement? “Microsoft is committed to delivering Windows 2000 64-bit, developer tools and associated Back Office applications concurrent with Merced system availability.” We intend to wrap this up with Intel today. This draft of the release still has first to boot claims in place.
<< File: microsoft4 – Intel release- v7 internal.doc >>

MS-CC-MDL 000000005723
HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL


Thanks in advance for your input and feedback.
Steve

….. Original Message …..
From: Jim Allchin (Exchange)
Sent: Friday, August 20, 1999 8:34 AM
to: Steve Stanzel
Subject: RE: press release contact

I didn’t really discuss the marketing per se at this level, I would like a joint release if possible.

jim

….. Original Message …..
From: Steve Stanzel
Sent: Thursday, August 19, 1999 7:13 PM
TO: Jim Allchin (Exchange)
Subject: RE. press release contact

Thanks Jim – I will let you know when we get the release finalized. The one point I’m not clear on, have you asked Intel to support this as a joint release/announcement or just asked for their support in the form of a quote?

No problem if you haven’t discussed this, I can work directly with the contact at Intel but as you know, they typically work much quicker with top down direction

Steve Stanzel
BED PR- News team

….. Original Message …..
From: Jim Allchin (Exchange)
Sent: Thursday, August 19, 1999 6:20 PM
To: ‘Albert Yu’
Cc: Steve Stanzel
Subject: press release contact

In anticipation of booting on Merced, it would be great to get the name of a marketing contact person we could work with on the press release for this fantastic event. Steve is the contact person at Microsoft. We want the press release already approved so that it can go out the second that you say it was successful.

thanks,
jim

MS-CC-MDL 000000005724
HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL


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