RE: where did all the anti-MSFT conspiracy theorists go?

Robert S. Thau (
Thu, 29 May 1997 17:02:52 -0400 (EDT)

Joe Barrera writes:
> Sigh. Deep throat never would have put up with this.

Deep Throat had to worry about G. Gordon Liddy busting his kneecaps.

> Okay, the deal is, Microsoft pressured DEC into suing Intel so that
> Intel would strike back with anti-competitive behavior, such as no
> longer supplying prototype chips to DEC and even threatening to not sell
> released chips to DEC.

Ummm.... waitaminnit. Intel has already promised to cut DEC off once
existing contractual commitments run out. If they follow through (and
why not?) that will, in effect, frog-march DEC's PC division right
into the arms of Intel's x86-compatible competitors. Anti-competitive
behavior is supposed to be behavior that *hurts* competitors, not
behavior that delivers substantial new accounts unbidden into their

(There will be considerable pain in the process for Digital as well
--- which is presumably why Intel is doing it --- but since Digital
wasn't going to be putting its own processor chips into PC-compatible
machines anyway, that's besides the point).

Intel has frequently been accused in the past of trying to prevent the
Compaqs and Dells from going to x86-compatible competitors by dropping
heavy hints to their management along the lines of "youze guyz gotta
chooz --- us or dem". That would clearly be anticompetitive behavior,
if it could be solidly documented --- but that's because it would be
*preventing* "dem" from selling processors. A simple, unconditional
"we're sick of you; go buy from dem", for reasons which have nothing
to do with any supplier of equivalent (x86-compatible) processors, is
much harder to construe in that manner.

The most you can say, and I have seen it said, is that Intel is trying
to make an example of Digital for the Dells and Compaqs. But even
that's a bit of a stretch --- none of them have threatened to sue
Intel for patent infringement. Besides, no matter how you slice it,
it's just silly to try to attribute *everything* in the industry to
some Microsoft conspiracy... particularly when Intel (which has a
similar reputation in its own corner of the industry) is involved.