04.04.08

Do Intel and Microsoft Use SpikeSource to Fight GNU/Linux?

Posted in Finance, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Servers, Windows at 5:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

More spiky business or just an innocent investment?

“What are we/should we be doing to leverage WIN32S against OS/2 2.0. Building up the perception that there will be a base of Windows applications that will not run on OS/2 2.0 is something that we should do.”

Paul Marltz, Microsoft [PDF]

Microsoft tries to build up the perception that open source applications run better on Windows than on GNU/Linux. It also establishes various collaborations in attempt to make it so, e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4].

SpikeSource happens to be one of those supposedly open source companies that work with Microsoft [1, 2, 3]. It integrates and certifies others’ work, but to be fair, it happens to do some business with Linux companies too [1, 2].

But watch this new bit:

Microsoft Certifying Open Source Apps for Windows Server 2008

But Microsoft isn’t stopping there. The company is working with SpikeSource to ensure open source applications work with Windows Server 2008. SpikeSource has so far certified five PHP applications for Microsoft…

Possibly by coincidence, around the same time cometh Intel and invests in the company which makes this possible. Yes, the name is SpikeSource, which seemingly moved over to the ‘dark side’ around a year ago. From last night:

Intel says it is entering into a partnership with SpikeSource – - the Kim Polese-led, open source-focused, software verification company – - and adding $10 million to an earlier investment

Upon seeing the surprising investment from none of other than Intel in an ‘open source’ company, a light was lit. Intel tends to play nice with GNU/Linux for its image, but its financial interests remain tied to Microsoft. Just watch the recent collusions scandal.

Some Intel employees sincerely like Linux and even do things to promote it, but the company’s CEO, just arguably notorious for those alleged E-mail-shredding practices [6, 7] and monopoly abuse [5], fears alienating Microsoft [3, 4]. What Intel did to OLPC must never be forgotten [1, 2, 3], either. So, it is possible that Intel gives a cash injection to a company whose work benefits Windows? What would be the likely motive?

______
[1] SpikeSource also moves to Ubuntu

It also marks the increasing business focus of Ubuntu sponsor Canonical which just last week announced a deal via with Ubuntu will become the basis for Linspire’s desktop Linux operating system.

[2] Schwartz Guides Sun to Light at Tunnel’s End [original article expired]

This move to cheaper servers with off-the-shelf parts helped Sun win back some cost-conscious customers who had turned to Intel-based servers running Linux. Sun began to offer its version of the Unix operating system, Solaris, free to customers to compete better with Linux.

[3] Intel Seen Using China Forum to Detail Plans on Hand-Helds

That [Linux] software effort does not have the support of Mr. Otellini, who is concerned about incurring Microsoft’s wrath, the executive said. The two companies have a long history of tension over who controls the hardware and software direction of the “Wintel standard.” Intelc has said it is supporting both operating systems.

[4] Intel CEO mum on Vista’s impact

Before the question could even be finished, Otellini shook his head and said, “no,” he was not getting into any discussion about Vista.

We considered that not just odd, given Otellini’s history of taking on all questions, but a sign that Intel is seriously displeased with Vista. If that weren’t true, why couldn’t the CEO muster even a lukewarm response like, “We certainly think Vista a superior OS, but after five years in development we would have hoped it had more of an impact on creating a demand for PC upgrades.”

[5] Otellini faced EU in closed session

It is also defending itself to the European Commission anti trust court against allegations that it sold into the public sector at below cost and that it paid manufacturers to cancel AMD chip-based product launches. Intel denies doing anything wrong.

AMD is making its presentations today, also behind closed doors.

[6] AMD: Intel Destroyed Evidence in Antitrust Case

In an unpublished statement to the U.S. District Court of Delaware, AMD alleges Intel allowed the destruction of evidence in pending antitrust litigation.

[7] Intel’s anti-trust memos started vanishing from the top

Chairman Craig Barrett, CEO Paul Otellini and sales chief Sean Maloney have appeared on a list of Intel employees thought to have deleted e-mails possibly relevant to AMD’s anti-trust lawsuit against its larger rival. The missing e-mails have thrust a livid state of mind onto AMD’s lawyers who have very serious problems with Intel’s rather lax document retention policy.

[...]

CEO Otellini appears to have been one of these troublesome employees.

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3 Comments

  1. Woods said,

    April 4, 2008 at 11:25 am

    Gravatar

    >What would be the likely motive?

    A very good question.

    Just like an earlier article remarked upon how MS Office is what drives Windows platform due to its interoperability (it just works(tm)) is MS now trying to vie FOSS-developers to Windows-platform by trying to assure that major, main-stream (web-apps so far?) FOSS-projects run nicely (thus appealing to pragmatic FOSS-folk) with assurances on openness (*trying* to appeal to more idealistic FOSS-folk)?

    And as was quite rightly pointed out, there are good, FOSS-loving folk at Intel but the guys at the helm are as deep in bed with MS as ever and they could care less how things turn out as long as everyone is buying Intel hardware. But with another monopolistic company, it’s at least the devil you know. Who knows which those FOSS-folk will jump next…

    With AMD listed as a sponsor at opensuse.org I think its about time I started looking at what VIA has got to offer…

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 4, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    Gravatar

    Dana comments on this here:

    http://blogs.zdnet.com/open-source/?p=2238

    Specifically he’s talking about working with Spikesource, whom I wrote about earlier today, in certifying programs to work with Windows Server.

    Open source, he says, is how Windows will kill Linux.

    The problem is probably various companies which continue to ‘sell out’.

  3. Woods said,

    April 5, 2008 at 12:16 am

    Gravatar

    >“Open source, he says, is how Windows will kill Linux.”

    Heh, RMS was right all along about the Open Source / Free Software-divide (no big surprise…)

    Too many users (and, sadly, developers) care only about the bottom line (that which is seen) to the exclusion of all values (that which is not seen, kudos to Beranger for the Bastiat-article…)

    To quote Jefferson, “the price of freedom is eternal vigilance” and sometimes I fear the vigilant light kept by journalists like yourself, Mr. Perens, RMS, FSF, etc. won’t be enough to stem the tide of self-serving greed which seems to be the cross that the majority bears.

    If people refuse to see then the quote of the article will become a reality.

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