Why Microsoft Suddenly Wanted to Be More Interoperable
Jan 25, 2010, 15:33 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Pamela Jones)
"Guess why Microsoft suddenly decided it wanted to be more
interoperable? It's so it can get customers to quit using Linux and
switch to Windows & .NET.
"Exhibit 7068 [PDF] in the Comes v. Microsoft antitrust
litigation exhibits list tells us what happened with Intel. It is a
4-page email thread with Bill Gates and others at Microsoft all
about trying to get Intel to switch from Linux/Unix to Windows for
their development environment. Gates calls it a jihad. What stood
in the way, according to the email report on what Intel was telling
them: "Linux apparently meets over 90% of their current EDA needs."
Intel said Linux interoperability was better, they could port code
more easily, EDA ISVs "got burnt with poor experiences with Windows
NT" and so were "wary of taking steps in this direction".
"Remember when Microsoft told us it was interested in greater
interoperability with Linux because their customers were demanding
it? That part is true, as I'll show you. But the purpose of
developing greater interoperability at the request of Intel,
according to this exhibit, was so that Microsoft could get Intel to
switch its development environment from Linux to Windows. Intel's
Paul Otellini had reportedly asked his people to figure out how to
do that. But in 1999, Microsoft and Intel had cooperatively done a
comparison test project, testing Windows and Linux against each
other, and Linux performed better. Way better. And so after
identifying 100 or so Microsoft work items, Intel decided to go
with Linux. The email thread is about whether Intel could now
switch back. "