Subject: Re: I2O
To: Rick Kelly <email@example.com>
From: Steven J. Dovich <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 04/24/1998 10:29:22
> >This one seems to be specifically designed to enable Microsoft and
> >Intel to decide who gets to play in their sandbox, and who doesn't.
> >Part of that is, of course, to lock out all the Open Source systems,
> >especially Linux, but another effect that is obviously intended is for
> >computer manufacturers to start building hardware that Microsoft can
> >decide which operating systems will be able to run on.
> >I don't know who I despise more: Microsoft or their customers.
> Hmmm. Perhaps this would be a good year to leave Intel behind?
Another alternative in cases like this is to explore remedies in
the legal system. Anti-trust law has some fairly broad language
dealing with private agreements in restraint of trade. I am
continually surprised at the extent of "collusion" that goes on in
SIGS and Consortia without any attention to anti-trust provisions.
The Open Source community is faced with anti-competitive behavior
which excludes their participation through NDA requirements. Where
that happens as part of an industry consortium such as the I2O SIG,
I would not dismiss the matter as legally irrelevant. Perhaps those
who enforce anti-trust law are simply unaware of the nature of this
sort of industry practice.
It seems like a small matter, but it may in fact be more clearcut
than the web browsers battle. After all, Microsoft may be more
directly precluding competition in the operating systems market if
it can prevent access to this kind of technical information under
terms that a competitor can use. Perhaps it is time to explore
changing the ground rules to something more in keeping with
competition, rather than worrying about how to comply with them.