|SUBJECT ||Re: [hangout] Lindows CEO attacks Intel's Centrino Linux lockout
|From owner-hangout-desteny-at-mrbrklyn.com Fri Mar 21 11:10:03 2003
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To: "Inker, Evan" , "'hangout-at-nylxs.com'" ,
Ruben Safir , Bruce Perens
Subject: Re: [hangout] Lindows CEO attacks Intel's Centrino Linux lockout
Date: Fri, 21 Mar 2003 11:14:15 -0500
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List: New Yorkers Linux Scene
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Where's the Stanco "fair play" morality here?
This is why we protested. Microsoft is INVITED to an OSS advocacy event;
Lindows is barred from an Intel roadshow and suffers a pullout of Intel
speakers at a Lindows Desktop Summit.
See how nice they play Tony???
On Thursday 20 March 2003 06:34 pm, Inker, Evan wrote:
> Lindows CEO attacks Intel's Centrino Linux lockout
> By John Lettice
> Posted: 20/03/2003 at 11:00 GMT
> Intel is going through a major internal struggle over desktop Linux,
> and the pro-Microsoft marketing droids are currently winning,
> according to Lindows.com CEO Michael Robertson. As evidence,
> Robertson puts forward the lack of Linux support for Centrino, the
> mysterious blocking of his company's request to participate in an
> Intel roadshow, and the last minute pullout of Intel speakers at his
> Desktop Linux Summit earlier this year.
> "Many inside Intel want to fully back consumer Linux products," says
> Robertson in one of his racier 'Michael's Minute' bulletins. "Intel
> engineers are active contributors to Linux software development and
> do an excellent job of ensuring that the latest chips and
> motherboards have solid Linux support. They've sent many products to
> our certification labs as part of that process and we're grateful for
> their support. However, when it comes to packaging those components
> into complete computers and announcing their availability, strong
> resistance emerges. It's a classic 'engineering vs. marketing'
> business struggle. The technology-minded folks see a growing trend
> that is imperative for them to support in order to stay fully
> relevent in all areas of the PC business. While the marketing-minded
> individuals are more worried about the risk of upsetting Microsoft."
> This process perhaps explains the roadshow incident. Lindows.com
> asked to participate in an upcoming show, and according to Robertson
> the initial reaction was, 'Great. We'd love to have you participate
> because we're getting increasing interest in Linux desktop machines.'
> But once it hit marketing, "we are told we cannot participate even
> though we are willing to pay the required fees and they have told us
> there is room. Perhaps it is because Microsoft is also a major
> sponsor of this event".
> Well indeed, given that Microsoft and Lindows.com are currently in
> litigation there might be a certain amount of friction, but they're
> grown-ups, so they should be able to behave. Or are they? Can they?
> In the case of the Intel speakers' pullout of the Desktop Linux
> Summit, Robertson says that marketing blocked their participation,
> citing "branding restrictions". He says he doesn't know what they
> meant by that, and nor indeed do we. However, it does seem to hint
> either at restrictive agreements with certain other companies, or
> some form of internal Intel market segmentation that rules out Linux
> on the desktop.
> Robertson says he's most concerned about the lack of Linux support
> for Centrino. "Intel says that 300 million dollars will go into
> advertising this new product for mobile computing, but Intel isn't
> making the small investment to provide Linux drivers. When you see
> that 'Centrino' sticker on the computer, you can substitute
> 'Microsoft Windows XP'."
> You can see why this gets to him. Centrino is essentially a marketing
> gambit, a packaging of the Pentium M and Intel's Pro/wireless 2100
> mini-PCI Wi-Fi card. There's nothing wildy clever about this, and
> from the customer's point of view it's really a trade-off between the
> convenience of getting it all in one package and being restricted to
> the Intel Wi-Fi card. From Intel's point of view it's a matter of
> marketing it for all its worth and thus leveraging itself into a
> dominant position in the notebook Wi-Fi market. Hence the $300
> Lindows.com is the company with the highest profile in preinstalled
> desktop Linux systems, and recently announced a cheap LindowsOS
> notebook. And here, we think, is where Michael's antennae start
> twitching. At the moment Lindows.com has made a fair bit of the
> running with non-Intel systems. You can get preinstalled Intel
> LindowsOS machines, but you're probably more likely to end up with
> AMD, or in the small footprint and portable areas, Via.
> To progress in the general OEM market Robertson needs to be able to
> strike deals with Intel; not to be treated equally with, say, Dell or
> HP yet, but to be taken seriously. In the notebook and tablet
> markets, the need for a relationship is surely much greater.
> Breakthrough into the portable markets has mysteriously eluded
> Intel's rivals, with Transmeta's near-disappearance, despite early
> support in the tablet arena from Microsoft, being particularly worth
> noting. Robertson, as we keep saying, is not stupid, he knows a lot
> of the money is going to come via portable machines, he also knows
> how determined Intel is, to own the portable market, and how
> successful it's been so far.
> So while other people might think they'd prefer to buy a Pentium M
> system and a separate Wi-Fi card, no problem, that $300 million on
> Centrino marketing hurts Michael deeply. And long term, he's right.
> For as long as there is no rival that is treated as seriously by
> Intel in the desktop sector as Microsoft is, then the rivals will
> find it hard going - they will not be serious rivals. Whether or not
> the first serious rival should be Michael is an entirely different
> matter, but credit where credit's due, he's taking a shot at it - who
> else is? (r)
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