Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft, Ignition Partners, and Xen

This short post is largely based on a longer conversation and research, whose fruits were shared in the IRC channel (where more details are available). Outlined below is just a summary of the findings.



Intellectual Ventures, whose head is Nathan Myhrvold, has been mentioned here a lot recently because it's probably the biggest patent troll out there and it originates from Microsoft [1, 2, 3]. Nathan's brother, Cameron Myhrvold, turns out to be inside another 'shell' which is filled with former Microsoft executives. This shell, a 'funding firm' called Ignition Partners, allocates money to a variety of small companies or startups.

“At the end of the day, these moves around Xen were probably intended to penalise GNU/Linux.”Having studied the portfolio of Ignition Partners, we came to realise that it was behind XenSource [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11]. This may explain a variety of things, such as XenSource's physical move closer to Microsoft's headquarters. Some of this happened just before signing a deal with Microsoft and being acquired by its right-hand partner, Citrix.

Some digging in the IRC channel (where external links were posted) would expose some of the pertinent details, but it's important to realise from now on that Ignition Partners can serve as another 'bank account' that promotes Microsoft's interests. It's located nearby and merely every member is a former Microsoft employee from the middle or high ranks, including the company's former CFO and the man who wanted to "tilt Lotus into the death spiral".

At the end of the day, these moves around Xen were probably intended to penalise GNU/Linux. Predictions around it only materialised more recently.

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