Bonum Certa Men Certa

Intel Sabotages Linux-based OLPC, Microsoft Wants to Hijack OLPC (with Windows)

"When you taunt the referee, he usually watches you even more closely. That’s what happened to Microsoft, whose “up yours!” attitude toward the Department of Justice has inspired investigators to dig even deeper. Now they’re looking at Microsoft’s efforts to take over Java. These relentless investigations sap Microsoft, and distract the DOJ from worse dangers such as Intel. And Microsoft’s childish, insulting behavior is largely to blame."

--Jesse Berst



This is definitely an off-topic post, but recent developments are too hard to ignore and leave alone without comment. Here's just quick pointer to another new antitrust investigation of Intel.

New York state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has launched an antitrust investigation of Intel, after his office served a wide-ranging subpoena on the chip giant.

Cuomo is investigating whether Intel violated state and federal antitrust laws by coercing customers to exclude its main rival, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), from the worldwide market for PC central processing units (CPUs), Cuomo said in a news release.

The subpoena seeks information on Intel's pricing practices and possible attempts to exclude competitors through its market power, Cuomo's office said.


As you may recall, Intel dumped Classmates (covering their cost) just to drive OLPC out of the market. Do refresh your memory by looking at previous articles about Intel's case against Linux as a whole, not just Linux-powered OLPCs. This includes combating planned deployments of GNU/Linux in China and Russia, along with Microsoft.

Intel likes Linux only where money is involved. It strives to maintain hardware dominance and high profits regardless of the software which uses the hardware. To Intel, Linux is bad news, for reasons that Glyn Moody explained just a few days ago.

I've noted before that Microsoft is in difficulty over the ultra-mobile machines like the Asus EEE PC; now it seems that the other half of the Wintel duopoly is also in trouble because of the new triple-P (price, performance and power) demands these systems make....


This OLPC-Intel issue is already covered pretty well in Groklaw, so it requires little or no unique comments and interpretation elsewhere. I happen to have discussed this in Groklaw personally. Here is something that came up in the the midst of one conversation:

IIRC during the late 1990s Intel would threaten motherboard makers that if they made boards which supported AMD's athlon they would get their engineering samples and documentation late, it took ages for any motherboards to appear which supported the athlon and the first ones were from small makers, then I think ASUS made a board but left their brand off the silkscreen possible to avoid a backlash from Intel. Intel knows the cost of building FABS and appears to be on a starve AMD of market volume thereby depriving them of funds to build their next FAB mission. This means that Intel will always be one or more generations ahead in process technology, this is a big thing in this industry.

The few articles I found are speculation but hardly unfounded Toms hardware Athlon MB review And another one

Tomshardware Athlon motherboard review 2 The reluctance of motherboard manufacturers to take up and promote the new AMD products even though they were technically superior at the time is telling.


The more terrible news comes as a correct assessment from Bruce Perens

Why Microsoft Must Control One Laptop Per Child



It's a threat Microsoft can't let stand: the entire third world learning Linux as children, and growing up to use it. And Microsoft is going to get its way.

It comes after a sudden wave of SCO-like problems for the OLPC project. A specious patent lawsuit over keyboards. Board-member Intel thrown out of the project for attempting to convince national governments to drop OLPC purchases and go with its own (Windows) product. First, OLPC is shown what its problems will be if it doesn't cooperate with Microsoft. Then, Microsoft approaches with money and technical help - you just have to run Windows to get it.

[...]

Unfortunately, I don't believe that Microsoft's intent toward the OLPC project is at all benign. They will promote their OLPC software load for DRM-locked content with the help of proprietary publishers who are threatened enough by open content to throw some zero cost but DRM locked e-books to the third world. If they can get governments to commit to the DRM-locked content on your platform, a non-Microsoft OS is going to be out of the race.

Also, nobody who wants an open platform for the third world is being "religious" about it, promoting sound public policy is not religion. I'm really tired of hearing that old saw brought up, please stop it.


According to Microsoft's OLPC team, which is responsible for "addicting" children to Windows (to use Bill Gates' own terminology), Windows will come to OLPC later this year.

Between Microsoft employees and third party contractors that we have brought into the effort, we have over 40 engineers working full-time on the port. We started the project around the beginning of the year and think it will be mid-2008 at the earliest before we could have a production-quality release.


Do not be surprised if the Gates Foundation later steps in. It will probably become the Sugar Daddy that "saves the day" for OLPC, provided it runs Microsoft Windows. Yesterday, calls were made for an abusive spouse (Intel) to return to the project. Will OLPC end up being just another Wintel laptop after so much corruption, manipulation and sheer abuse of volunteers? Can the world ever accept so much evil? More importantly, will the world be told the true story?

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