09.03.09

Intel — Like Microsoft — Uses Heavy Lobbying to Permit Own Crimes

Posted in GNU/Linux, Hardware, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents at 2:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Intel: criminal inside

Summary: Intel’s response to convictions seems to be lobbying (aka “legalised bribery”) and Moblin absorbs Mono

INTEL’s lobbying is not a secret, but nobody in computing spends on lobbyists as much as Microsoft, which has loads of them. Amid many crimes it turns out that whilst Intel is cutting down its workforce it is also increasing the level of lobbying. The Inquirer summarises it as follows:

WHILE INTEL LAID OFF employees and slashed costs to ride out the recession, it increased what it shelled out for political lobbying to more than $877,000 in the last quarter.

Capitalist tool Forbes went through the fine print in Intel’s financial reports and found a huge blowout in the chipmaking giant’s lobbying budget.

A reader wrote to remind us not only that Intel and Microsoft show their love in public but also that the acquisition of Wind River is bad news for all. Regarding the lobbying he wrote:

At that rate, Intel could burn through 3.508 million per year. That’s assuming the lobbying budget does not grow. It probably will grow, since Intel’s chips aren’t getting better and the x86 legacy is not getting left behind by Intel.

3.5 million would cover a lot of salaries, were technology a priority over political activism.

Also, Nick’s gotten so used to the x86 architecture that he hasn’t noticed the false dichotomy he’s presenting. The question is not Intel or AMD. No matter how you slice it, at the end of the day both are out-dated x86 architectures left over from the 1980′s. To be relevant today, it’s a matter of finding the right architecture for the job: Freescale, SPARC, MIPS, or ARM to name the big ones.

I do hope that the EU regulators grow a pair and place a 18 – 24 month moratorium on import or sale of Wintel products inside the EU.

Intel and Microsoft/Gates also did some joint lobbying for Abramoff visas. Further, argues the reader:

Neither component in Wintel advance technology. Microsoft competes by price dumping, illegal tying, extortion and lobbying. Intel tends to compete only by crushing. Intel is chained to Microsoft, for life or death. So, when Microsoft loses steam, which it has done except for lobbying, Intel joins in the lobbying, but will increase stomping going after more or larger targets.

Intel’s recent Wind River stomp will have some very far reaching negative effects in the embedded systems world. Shoehorning systems into an x86 ‘solution’ will only result in harm, even if one only looks at the power consumption when multiplied by the sheer number of devices.

Apple screwed up big time by moving to the outdated x86 architecture instead of MIPS or Freescale or a cluster of ARMs. Now Apple is beholden to Wintel for the hardware and again for the data formats. If Apple wants to prove that it’s not going to get pulled down, it needs to push harder in open standards.

Yahoo screwed up big time by allowing Microsoft to place three political activists on the board. That cut FreeBSD badly.

That leaves Linux and Solaris which are doing well, but for the fact that the few remaining news sources are nearly entirely beholden to Microsoft or Microsoft partners for income directly or indirectly. There are the advertising fees directly, but remember Microsoft made a move to grab many ad servers. So it’s not unusual for FOSS sites to have difficulty in collecting ad revenue due them.

Last week we wrote about the issue of Intel's Moblin being encumbered by Microsoft tax on the face of it. According to this, even Mono packages that are not covered by Microsoft's useless MCP (Banshee for example) are being put in Moblin|Goblin.

6.) Media, this is a combined Video/Audio/Photo application. It works OK, but I prefer the tools I’ve used for a long time – Banshee and F-Spot ;-) They are included by default in Goblin :-)

As Novell continues bringing Linux closer to Microsoft (joint conference now), we foresee more signs of convergence between Novell and Microsoft. It is a victory to Microsoft whose .NET framework wins an enodrsement thanks to the efforts of Miguel de Icaza et al. Needless to say, such prizes are silly and given how much coverage Mono received from IDG, this prize should not be surprising. Ziff Davis is currently covering Microsoft/Mono stuff (Mono project created by former Microsoft employees), but that too should not be particularly surprising [1, 2, 3, 4].

Daniel Eran Dilger writes about the failure of Microsoft’s latest search/marketing push (under a new name). He ends by reminding readers that there too, Microsoft chooses lobbying over technology [1, 2].

Now, ill equipped to catch up, Microsoft is using its well equipped lobbyists to attack Google using government interference in lieu of competing against it in the marketplace. Ten years ago, Microsoft was defending its own monopoly to the government, although Microsoft’s monopoly was not legitimately won in the market as Google’s, but was instead massed together through shady business practices and competition suppression.

The question this time around will be: has the “center right” American government become saturated enough with corporate socialism for the rich that the very success of liberal spending on basic research will be attacked and handed over to loser parties such as Microsoft in new bailouts that reward failure and punish legitimate success, after twenty years of doing the opposite, ignoring Microsoft’s monopolistic lock on markets while rewarding conservative corporate profiteering with more government grants and overseas political support?

Because that would be devastating to US recovery.

Lobbying is nothing short of “legalised bribery”, but people are taught to become accustomed to it. There is a better way.

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