01.27.10

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Microsoft, Intel, and White-collar Crime

Posted in GNU/Linux, Hardware, Microsoft, OLPC, SCO, UNIX at 9:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Tying necktie

Summary: More information about the two abusive monopolies and how GNU/Linux fits their puzzle

GROKLAW has begun publishing more Comes vs Microsoft exhibits, including some that we shared here before (some of these posts of ours made the front page of Slashdot, Digg, and even the mainstream press). This series from Groklaw began some weeks ago and we think it’s wonderful that Groklaw brings the material to a broader audience, using some of the transcripts which we worked on in the past (there is reuse going on). It’s a truly wonderful case of community collaboration for the sake of justice.

Some days ago, Groklaw published its own interpretation of the Intel exhibits, adding to them Groklaw’s expertise on SCO matters:

This exhibit, for example, is from early 2002, and if you recall Darl McBride joined Caldera, now calling itself SCO, in the summer of 2002, and at the end of the year, it was gearing up to attack Linux. That is the context. Microsoft by 2002, after losing to Linux in 1999, was still not able to persuade Intel developers to come back to Windows.

As you read the exhibit, then, please imagine you are Microsoft when Darl McBride comes calling with a plan to litigate Linux into the ground, force Linux to remove code SCOfolk thought Linux couldn’t function without in the enterprise, or place a SCO tax on every Linux server, all of which would make it easier for Microsoft to compete against an operating system that was preferred already at Intel. Imagine you are not the type to stay awake nights, worrying about business ethics or fine points like that.

Microsoft asked Intel what it should do. Some suggestions from Intel: improve interoperability between Windows and Linux/UNIX, improve “stability of environment, OS, shell environment, scripts, etc.”, find “a unique value prop that will convince EDA ISVs about the advantage of supporting Windows & .NET.” Intel reportedly offered to help Microsoft with developing that, “since they’re familiar with the terrain.” In short, if Microsoft could improve in interoperability, it would enable Intel to switch from Linux to Windows and .NET.

So all you folks helping Microsoft become more interoperable, are you working with a “new” Microsoft that has now seen the light? Or, are you enabling Microsoft to replace Linux, after you help them write the code and share with them the way to fix their stupid software? What are you thinking? You are doing their coding for them with a goal on their part you won’t enjoy. In short, the conclusion I reach after reading this exhibit is that if Microsoft can’t interoperate well with Linux, it will decline faster.

We have covered this before. See the following:

More Intel exhibits are to be covered in the future (we haven’t the time to do that yet). We also have some alarming exhibits that show Microsoft giving hints of the SCO lawsuit (or similar). See for example:

Here is a good comment from Groklaw:

These applications touch the heart of corporate innovation – the core designs and concepts that will drive a company forward for a decade or more. They’re more than just marketing numbers and advertising strategies that might affect their bottom line for a few quarters or two years at most. They’re important.
Given that Windows-only users are just the sort who take their work home on their laptops to connect directly to their home Internet connection without so much as a NAT router to protect them – and then click on any old flash game or link they find on Facebook – and then bring the same laptop back to connect to the intranet, is any consideration at all given to security? Do corporations just accept that their most precious intellectual property is flying out the door at an aggregate 1000Gbps? Or do they consider these issues and decide that the value add of Windows environments is worth more than keeping their secrets? If so, how? How do you sit at the table where supposedly savvy and responsible people decide such things and advocate that without being walked directly to the door by security staff?

We hope that more people will help Groklaw assemble what we have from Comes. It’s a fountain of knowledge and a peephole into Microsoft’s corporate crime. In Groklaw’s latest exhibit, Bill Gates is shown referring to his completion as “Jihad”; he has done that more than once (on other occasions), so it’s not just a slip of the tongue.

Earlier this month Microsoft and Intel entered a collaboration around the spying on users and profiling of their habits, having previously attacked OLPC more or less jointly. We will hopefully have time to cover this later today.

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