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InteLeaks – Part VIII: Microsoft and Its Facilitators Destroying Intel From the Inside

Video download link

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Summary: Intel is being 'infested' or increasingly dominated by people who lack technical skills and have an affinity for Microsoft's proprietary software (even in divisions dedicated to GNU/Linux)

THIS series is getting longer and longer because of additional material and input that we receive (we've invited further contributions/contributors). We now expect at least two dozen parts and we're grouping these parts based on issues, themes, aspects, and logical chronology. This is not "old news"; this is months old. It is still very much relevant.

"The video ends with a word or two about Microsoft's role, which we'll come to later on in the series."This particular part focuses on Drupal; as we noted in the introduction, there's also a Microsoft role (with more elements as covered in Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, and Part VII).

This whole 'InteLeaks' series shows that Intel's supposed "love" of Linux is mostly posturing or pretences. Check out this post from the so-called "Intel Community". Intel is a corporation, not a community. They keep misusing that word. But look deeper at what Intel is doing. It's incredible, isn't it? Some 'community', eh? When we discussed it this morning MinceR said they "should have thought about that before handing money to the Redmond mafia" (they're proposing Windows as a "solution"...)

"These people really like becoming victims of their own short-sighted decisions," said to us a person who knows Intel from the inside. They're harming their own clients. The above video mentions the M.E. as it says a lot about how Intel views its so-called 'clients' (that aren't the United States military/government). MinceR asserted that "they're too stupid to learn from their own mistakes, regardless of how many times they get burned..."

The video ends with a word or two about Microsoft's role, which we'll come to later on in the series. "Maybe Intel management doesn't know what they want," MinceR stated the other day, "try to survive [with Microsoft] or tie their destiny to Microsoft and go wherever Microsoft goes [...] then again, maybe they believe that they need to throw us [GNU/Linux users] a few bones temporarily before locking us into Microsoft world again or maybe they're doing a similar kind of misdirection as the Redmond mafia, just less ad-based..."

The Intel insider said MinceR "is right on the money and this is what has disappointed me for a long time [as] it reeks of Stockholm Syndrome [and] really not much different from Microsoft tactics..."

"One story we heard concerns Drupal's use and misuse, or even outright rejection."We'll make it more apparent later in this series that Intel seems eager to help Microsoft's proprietary software monopoly (and an attack on software freedom) called GitHub. Why is Intel doing that? And about Drupal, which is also mentioned in length (Intel uses it internally), we've heard some truly disturbing stories...

One story we heard concerns Drupal's use and misuse, or even outright rejection. "Information about the refusal to use a non-proprietary process," one person told us, is quite a giveaway. It shows who really runs the company and what the real objectives are. Developers are ignored and clueless people override their decisions or veto common sense.

Intel engineers basically "developed a process using git and markdown to create guides," one source told us. "This process was accepted as a process to create and collaborate on documentation efforts - replacing a proprietary process," the source emphasised. "The previous proprietary process was using Microsoft or Google Docs with an Adobe-centric process of proprietary roots."

The developers were eager to get rid of these proprietary monopolies. And they did it! "No to docx. No to your proprietary tools. No to your proprietary formats. Most devs were excited and happy to use this process," we were told. "The publishing platform was Drupal, so it was about time! After a successful test - the process was in place for all future docs. The validation, product or engineering team would lead a doc project using the internal gitlab."

"So from a proper, self-hosted, Free software process they moved to passing around Microsoft Word documents.""The team would self-edit - on their time - and make a push request," we were told. "After edits/review, the document was pushed to the Drupal instance and staged. Final review and approval - and the content was live. This process sped up time to publish and improved accuracy. The devs owned the doc project and future edits would be easy to apply."

This was all very standards-based. As one Intel expert told us, "these days Markdown and LaTeX are just as easy to handle using web tools as Google Docs and Microsoft Word with vastly better results, so the problems with using freely available and generally user-friendly tools must be cultural..." (later adding that "this reminds me of what is going on at the Linux Foundation")

cybrNaut has responded (in IRC) by saying: "I know some aerospace engineers who "can't handle" LaTeX, so the project opted for genuine Microsoft Word, which of course is a complete disaster when checking binary docs into Clearcase and then doing a diff for reviews."

"I didn't accept the rationale," he added, "that they can't handle it... I think management just hates engineers to maintain docs that alienates managers [as] low-tech managers like Microsoft Word, and that preference gets imposed on engineers doing the real work. The project manager said "we don't use LaTeX because no one knows it". Then I went to a university and asked "why are these science students using Google Docs instead of LaTeX?" The reply was: "Because LaTeX is not in industry"..."

Going back to Intel, the same thing happened in Intel even after a proper process had been put in place and worked well.

"The preferred method was markdown," we were told. "There was flexibility for rst or asciidocs as an alternate [format] if needed. The guides were published (in the end) as HTML."

"After the process was in place," we learned, "several teams (mostly low-technical or even close to what could be considered non-technical) refused to conform to the process and requested, first, to use Google Docs for a GNU/Linux project - this request was refused. A manager suggested reporting the non-conformity to other management."

"To my knowledge," we were told, "this was never pursued."

One can guess where that went next.

Eventually the clueless dissenters decided to impose OOXML (docx) on everybody else. "The format was used with 0 versioning and multiple versions being passed around with no confirmation as to the "current" version." What a mess. Welcome back to the 1990s with large E-mail attachments of proprietary Microsoft files.

“It sounds like the have a gaggle of Microsoft resellers embedded in the organization and, despite being on the payroll, working against the company to advance Microsoft goals against it from within.”
"After insisting the git process be conformed to," we learned, "a resource reminded the group of a looming deadline at this point, and forced an exception in this case. First, the content of docs were staged in gitlab by a writing resource - in markdown."

Welcome Microsoft mindset: "The engineering team stated they did not know markdown. Those on the team in another capacity - content strategy, still refused to edit in gitlab passing multiple versions of [OOXML] format after Google Docs was outright refused for this GNU/Linux project."

So from a proper, self-hosted, Free software process they moved to passing around Microsoft Word documents. This is how you can quickly drive out any GNU/Linux talent you've managed to attract.

"This resonates strongly with me," said a person who knows Intel insiders (former and current staff), "as their HR people's attempt to reach out to potential candidates doesn't even seem genuine. They know they need those people with GNU/Linux skills, but don't even mention anything about the job out of a fear of never being able to attract them in the first place, if people knew what was going on from the inside."

As someone else put it (having witnessed the above): "It sounds like the have a gaggle of Microsoft resellers embedded in the organization and, despite being on the payroll, working against the company to advance Microsoft goals against it from within."

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