8th > February > 1999 Archive

The Register breaking news

A year ago: Serious questions remain for Intel about business conduct

Intel has now provided The Register with a statement concerning Ken Catto's expulsion from Intel newsgroups, but regrettably this addresses none of the major issues. Catto, of Portland, Oregon VAR Select Micro Systems (SMS) was thrown off the groups and the Intel IPD programme for "abusive language" and profanity both on the newsgroups and to Intel staff, and that's about it folks. The latest statement is actually less wide-ranging than the charges originally posted by Intel Internet Support operative Tim McCarthy - these included defamation, posting "content which infringes another's copyright, trademark or trade secret," harassment of another newsgroup member and disruptive activity. Catto denied all of these, but with respect, the claims against him aren't the important ones. Life is too short to be wasted on arguments about whether or not people swear and harass in newsgroups or not - we accept that Catto may well have got excited, but then the claims he's making about Intel are worth getting excited about - they're serious, and deserve an Intel response. Catto says he first got het up last year because he'd based plans for systems and made sales on the basis that he would be able to use the Pentium Classic in them. He says Intel was telling him the chips were still available, but that there were spot shortages, whereas Intel's distributors were telling him the chips were unavailable. He says he later learned that the chips had indeed been out of production when Intel claimed spot shortages. Cattto's next beef was more recently, in what he says was a similar situation over the Pentium Pro - he can't get chips, Intel says spot shortages, distributors say it's dead. It would be wrong of us to vote for Catto all the way on this, because we know the way Intel operates. It tells its partners about product plans, but it revises those plans frequently in response to market conditions (and yes, AMD and Cyrix). What that means is that the people dealing with Intel products have to be as fast-moving as the company is. They need to listen to every last nuance of what Intel has to say, and they need to make a few predictions of their own, and avoid exposing themselves too heavily to a line that's in peril. It was clear for most of last year that Intel wanted to dump the Pentium Pro, so the real question you had to ask yourself was when it was going to be able to do it. Pentium Pro systems were still a pretty good base, if you could get Pentium Pro, but maybe Catto ought to have worried more about whether he could. But that's the realpolitik approach, and there's also a valid argument that says you shouldn't have to go through this kind of stuff, that your business partner should make clear statements about where it's going rather than operating through nudges and winks. Nor should it tell you one thing and other people another, which is what Catto's saying Intel did. Here, we think it would be helpful if Intel covered the allegation, but for what it's worth, we think the truth is probably fuzzier. Slightly different timings of slightly difference signposts, translated and elaborated through the channel bush telegraph could easily have come up with markedly different messages, and therefore flat-out lying needn't have come into it. But that's not exactly an exoneration - doing business in this kind of fuzzy way leaves pits all over the place for system builders to fall into, and bigger companies than SMS have been maimed by not getting the Intel message quite right. Catto's next claims are more worrying. Two people "purportedly" from Intel, no names no business cards, visited and attempted "to threaten and intimidate us into submission." Did these people exist? If so, did they work for Intel, and what was the purpose of their visit? We really think Intel ought to deal with this, and with the other claimed visit from someone asking about other people posting in the newsgroup. Who was this? Why did he want to know? Has he talked to the people he named? And finally, Catto says two distributors told him it had been suggested to them that they 'lose' some of his shipments. This is a very serious allegation indeed, and again ought to be dealt with. Ken Catto paints us a picture of frighteners, wrong information, harassment and disruption which goes beyond robust business practices. Maybe he's exaggerating, maybe he's imagining it, but maybe Intel should respond to this, rather than to the 'who swore first' stuff. ®
John Lettice, 08 Feb 1999
The Register breaking news

Allchin takes a beating over video

We conclude the story of last week's dramatic events when Microsoft was caught faking a demonstration to the court. (Full Video Transcript) Jim Allchin, bruised by David Boies' relentless cross examination, went into a rehearsed redirect examination from Stephen Holley. Allchin probably had a poor lunch, since he had spent most of it on the phone to Redmond: "I had a series of people moving very quickly. My conclusion is that it was a Feltenized machine; that, in fact, what we saw was exactly the failure cases that you would see on a Felten machine; and that there wasn't any confusion about the tape being stopped or started. There is a question about what happens in the title bar because that is what I had seen when I had done it. We do have that machine. It still duplicates in exactly the same way." Judge Jackson looked bemused. Holley tried to rescue Allchin from the hole he had dug in an email to Maritz on 13 March 1997 in which he suggested that IE4 and Windows should be separate. This contrary evidence in Microsoft's defence had exercised Microsoft's lawyers, and Allchin was evidently advised to say that: "The particular parts, these components of Windows, worked in Brad Silverberg's group, and I did not have the knowledge of how he had structured that organisation, and I didn't understand, because I hadn't drilled in the code, how integrated the two pieces had become. So, it wouldn't have been in my normal job knowledge in order to go and understand that, and I was looking at it from a very one-sided perspective, which is I knew I had some quality problems, and I had other things that the team that I was responsible for was worried about, and so I was trying to find ways to alleviate what I considered to be the problem, but the solution was just not right. There were many follow-on conversations to this. "In particular, I got more educated on the way the technology was done, and that helped, although I had seen demos, and I specifically drilled in what was the first page, the Trident piece, the mshtml and user. I had not spent enough time on the shell and the other components and how they had gotten the -- basically, the shell depended on IE technologies by this time." Allchin said that IE is "just an upgrade of the operating system". Holley asked Allchin about the D'Souza spreadsheet. Allchin waffled on that it showed a count of the number of functions that shdocvw.dll referred to in accessing home.microsoft.com and "my computer". This was intended to show the extent to which there was sharing. The secret that Microsoft would not reveal is exactly those Windows 98 files that are used exclusively in IE, and those which were shared. Microsoft had failed to establish a convincing reason for the sharing, since Boies had showed that the same result could be obtained using IE4 and Windows 95 without any "integration". The distinct impression remained that Microsoft had indeed only undertaken some "integration" to make it impossible for Navigator to be used instead of IE in all circumstances, since even if Navigator is included and declared by the user to be the default browser, there are many cases where only IE can be used, despite the user's wishes. Allchin came up with some statements that must have been suggested by Microsoft PR, such as "I think [providing Internet support right out of the box] has really helped society." Judge Jackson was not impressed and asked whether it was necessary to know all about protocols to get Internet access with Windows 95 and IE. He also complained to Holley that many of the answers to questions in his so-called redirect examination were included in Allchin's direct testimony and that "you really don't need to have him reiterate". He suggested that Holley eliminated what was repetitive or redundant from his questioning. Although Microsoft had scraped its corporate archive to find scraps of evidence for its having had a grand plan for integrating IE and Windows before Netscape was born, Microsoft did not like to admit that Gates had launched the wrong strategy with MSN, an issue that Boies had omitted to raise. At the time, Microsoft was trying to compete with AOL and CompuServe, and was late to appreciate the threat that Netscape posed. Allchin said that in early 1995, Microsoft had "licensed some technology" (Mosaic of course, but it was not mentioned by name) because its in-house effort to develop a browser had failed (not mentioned). At one point Allchin suggested that IE had to be a separate product because the printing of the boxes for the retail packs would take some time, and there wasn't time to integrate it. He also suggested that Microsoft's focus at the time was on OS/2. Finally Holley got round to the vexed problem of the Felten video. Allchin admitted to having fiddled with the registry, and was evidently pleased that Felten's program had only reduced the size of Windows 98 by 90,000 bytes out of about 124 to 128 megabytes. Holley swiftly moved to what he hoped would be calmer waters and brought up the Be operating system and how its NetPositive browser was integrated and not removable. Since neither knew anything about Be, they made fools of themselves, as Be CEO John-Louis Gassee pointed out in the Be Newsletter the same day: "Our NetPositive browser isn't integrated. In fact, we're doing our best to let other browsers - BeOS versions of Opera and Mozilla, to name two - flourish on the BeOS platform without playing games with OS features, or commercial relationships. Our browser is an application, just like a word processor, and is removed just as easily. I recall us jokingly referring to it in one of our press releases as 'DoJ approved.'" Gassee was amused that Chairman Gates was so frightened of BeOS that he had mentioned it at the annual shareholders' meeting as a threat from a dangerous competitor. What a pity Boies had not been better briefed about this: perhaps he should read The Register. Holley then returned to the Felten video problem. Allchin said that he title bar change resulted from his having installed Prodigy. Allchin said that his anti-Felten team had flown to the nation's capital overnight, and from a discussion with them, he said: "Because there were many demos being done, they did a rehearsal run. They started with a base build, and then they ran through the software that they were going to show, and then they did the removal of the software through the 'Add and remove programs'. And in this particular case, Prodigy during that remove doesn't -- it removes that key which, on a regular Windows 98 system, would make no difference. And then they eventually did the demonstrations that were shown. So it was as part of the rehearsal of just, you know, going through what was on the tape, which is the Prodigy system changed that title." He then said: "The video was correct": no doubt this conclusion will haunt the remainder of his career. Allchin was then led through some prepared remarks about why Microsoft had designed Windows 98 in the way it had. It was very unconvincing. Holley thought he had better bring up the matter of Michael Dertouzos, who was scheduled to be a Microsoft witness but was rejected because during his deposition he advocated IE being separate. Boies objected that it was hearsay for Allchin to represent the views of Dertouzos, and Judge Jackson sustained the objection. Boies also successfully objected to Holley's attempt to start Microsoft's rebuttal case by introducing an Apple 10-K report to the SEC concerning Apple's view of Internet integration. Holley had more luck with a Sun email of 15 June 1995 in which it was stated that "customers will expect the Solaris desktop to include tools to access the Web by default". It was stretching it to suggest that this implied Sun would integrate a browser in the same way as Microsoft. Holley finished by getting Allchin to confirm that MSN had less than 2 million subscribers, compared with AOL's 14 million plus. Boies' recross examination must have made Holley wish he's not raised the Sun browsing issue, since the first sentence on the page that Holley had used called the browser an "application". Boies then asked Allchin if Microsoft was the only vendor that "prevents customers from removing the browser". The hapless Holley objected to the question, but was overruled. Allchin struggled against the inevitable answer and mumbled that "We have taken a risk... you can't please all customers..." and eventually said "Yes". Allchin said that Microsoft allowed end users to remove the IE icon, but not OEMs. Boies referred to a deposition of Allchin on 19 March 1998 in which he had said that including IE3 with Windows was done to compete with Netscape. Holley objected to the line of questioning, saying it was confusing, but Judge Jackson said "Well, I don't find it confusing. And I think it's sufficiently embraced within the lines of interrogation you were pursuing as to make it appropriate recross examination. So I am going to overrule your objection." Boies introduced a series of emails that systematically destroyed Allchin's credibility, and made nonsense of the thrust of Microsoft's defence for IE integration. Allchin emailed Maritz on 20 December 1996 about "Concerns for the future". First was "Ensuring that we leverage Windows. I don't understand how IE's going to win. The current path is simply to copy everything that Netscape does packaging and product wise. Let's suppose IE is as good as Navigator/Communicator. Who wins? The one with 80 percent market share. Maybe being free helps us, but once people are used to a product it's hard to change them. Consider Office. We're more expensive today and we're still winning. My conclusion is that we must leverage Windows more. Treating IE as just an add-on to Windows which is cross-platform losing our biggest advantage - Windows market share. We should dedicate a cross-group team to come up with ways to leverage Windows technically more. ... We should think first about an integrated solution - this is our strength." Allchin confessed he had subsequently discussed the email with Microsoft attorneys. Allchin could not argue with Boies' conclusion that he was saying that to be competitive with Netscape, Windows integration was needed. Allchin emailed Maritz on 2 January 1997, worrying that Microsoft didn't have a long-term winning strategy: "I feel that we are street fighting", saying he was reminded of the Novell battles [which Microsoft lost]. Maritz agreed that integration should be the basic strategy, but that "OEMs suffer", presumably from a further delay to Windows and hence the sales of new PCs. Boies seized on the remark that Windows 98 "must be a simple upgrade, but most importantly it must be a killer on OEM shipments so that Netscape never gets a chance on these systems." The intention to freeze Netscape out of the most effective distribution channel could not be clearer. Allchin gave some fascinating insights into the internal wrangling at Microsoft about IE4 and Windows 98 integration. Maritz emailed on 7 January 1997 saying that, of the options (1) holding Windows 98 for IE4 in August; (2) having IE3 in Windows 98 in June; and (3) giving OEMs IE3 and Windows 98 and holding retail Windows 98 until IE4 was ready, he preferred the first. His reason was that "to combat NSCP, we have to position the browser as 'going away' and do deeper integration into Windows. ... IE integration will be the most compelling feature of Memphis [Windows 98]." On 18 February 1997, Allchin emailed Gates about his concerns: "We do not have agreement on our strategy within the company and the company is often working cross-wise internally. ... In my opinion, Windows is in the process of being exterminated here at Microsoft." Boies was interested in Allchin's remark that "On our current path IE4 will not be very integrated into Windows." Allchin emailed Maritz on 28 January 1997 that Joachim Kempin, the VP in charge of OEMs, strongly disagreed about the delay to Windows 98 because of IE, and wanted it shipped without IE. A Microsoft marketing review dated 27 May 1998 showed that "Many end users have IE and Netscape - view both browsers as parity products". This was very different from the impression that Microsoft had tried to create from product reviews, and threw grave suspicion on both Microsoft's analysis of the results, presented by the ever-malleable professional witness Dean Schmalensee, and what influence Microsoft might have brought to bear on the reviewers. Allchin claimed not to have known about the presentation, and avoided responding to a further question about a comment that "'It came with my computer' is the number one reason people switch to IE from Netscape". Boies found some very dangerous turf for Microsoft when he asked about an email from Allchin to his team concerning the Felten claim that Microsoft had stopped his program from working from 4 December. Allchin was asked why he had said "Please no mail on this that is not attorney-client privileged". Boies brought up a claim by Allchin in his direct testimony that Felten's program results in a memory leak "and after a few hours the operating system becomes unusable". A little later, Boies quietly asked: "Microsoft has also had a variety of problems with memory leaks; correct sir?" The hapless Allchin had to admit that "Yes, it's something we work on quite a bit." It's also something that users have had to put up with since Windows 1.0, and which remains Microsoft's most serious bug, unsolved for around 15 years. Having got Allchin relaxed, Boies pounced and replayed some extracts from the video. He asked Allchin to let him know "if you change machines in the middle of the sequence". Judge Jackson took an immediate interest, and closely questioned Allchin about the number of machines used. Allchin admitted to "multiple machines" being used. Allchin admitted that Yusuf Mehdi "became sick" so that "they re-did the voice ... so there were clearly multiple voices there." Allchin had evidently not been present during the filming of the demonstrations, so Boies' questions were often in vain. Boies suggested that a different machine was used in a zoom shot. Allchin started to reply: "We are just trying to show the demonstration. This wasn't in our lab trying to be incredibly precise, being -- we were trying to - " when Judge Jackson stopped him: "How can I rely on it if you can't tell me whether it's the same machine or whether any changes have been made to it? It's very troubling, Mr Allchin. And I would feel much better about it if you had made the test yourself, if you had been there." Things got much worse. The two icons on the screen had become one, but moments later there were two icons again. Allchin again admitted there were multiple machines in the demonstrations. This was too much for the judge: "It simply casts doubt on the reliability, entire reliability, of the video demonstration. It's difficult to make a finding as to what it reveals." Allchin offered to bring in a machine to show him. Judge Jackson told him to talk to his lawyers. Boies continued the extracts and showed further inconsistencies. Boies' further recross examination was a funeral service for Microsoft' business ethics. Judge Jackson allowed Allchin to attempt to repeat the tests himself overnight, with DoJ representatives present. ® Complete Register trial coverage
Graham Lea, 08 Feb 1999
The Register breaking news

Silverberg to return in MS split into four divisions

MS on Trial Microsoft president Steve Ballmer is set to announce a shake-up that will reorganise the company into four divisions and see the return of Brad Silverberg, a pivotal - but so far largely silent - figure in the events being covered by the antitrust trial. Silverberg headed development of Windows 95, but has been on extended leave of absence since June 1997. With the reorganisation, reported in the Seattle Times, Ballmer is making his mark on the company, perhaps with one eye on what might happen if Microsoft loses the court case. He is reported to be planning to set up four customer-focused groups, consumer, enterprise, developers and knowledge workers. The consumer group, likely to be headed by Silverberg, would cover Windows and Internet, enterprise would deal with large business customers, developers would handle the company's developer relations and knowledge workers would target home office and small office. There have been many advocates of splitting the company into at least separate platforms and applications companies, but current legal thinking tends to be against such splitting. But if it were to occur, the courts would not necessarily be influenced by any change that Microsoft had itself undertaken. It is certain that whatever the outcome of the present case, despite many reports, no fine will be imposed on Microsoft as this is precluded under the terms of the DoJ and states' Complaint (and would have given the right for a jury trial). Strangely enough Silverberg's group would cover interactive media, which was headed by Pete Higgins until he went on extended leave last year. Silverberg's long absence is apparently because he was peeved that he was not offered a significant promotion after his work on Windows 95. Jim Allchin might head the enterprise group, which suggests that Paul Maritz could end up as some kind of technical supremo overlooking all the groups - unless he too is feeling burnt out and wants a leave of absence. In February last year, in the midst of a previous phase of the current trial, work on Internet Explorer was hastily merged into the Windows group in order that Microsoft could look more consistent with its story that Windows 98 was one product. It appears that final decisions have not yet been made, but Microsoft is likely to want the changes to be made swiftly, now that they have leaked, to stop speculation that they are related to the trial. ®
Graham Lea, 08 Feb 1999
The Register breaking news

AOL will not jump on freebie bandwagon

AOL -- the UK's largest Online Service Provider -- has confirmed it has no intentions to follow the lead of LineOne and scrap its subscription charges despite facing growing pressure from the subscription-free Internet service providers. A spokeswoman for AOL said that unlike LineOne, AOL was "steadily acquiring members" and actively promoting its service both in the press and as part of a national TV advertising campaign. Nonetheless, AOL cannot ignore the impact the "Freeserve phenomenon" has had on the UK Internet access market. Indeed it is this which has reportedly prompted News International, BT and United News & Media -- the major players behind LineOne -- to scrap the £9.99 subscription for the UK-based online information service in an attempt to compete on an equal footing. Executives at LineOne has been caught on the hop by today's Financial Times report. A spokeswoman confirmed that the story was "more or less" accurate although a formal announcement would be made later this week. She did confirm, however, that the subscription fee would be scrapped "imminently". The Times added that up to six million readers of the The Express, The Sun and The Sunday Times will be offered free CDs next month giving them the opportunity to access the Internet for free though LineOne. Speculation that the companies behind LineOne would "leverage their media assets" has been circulating for some weeks now although no one has been prepared to confirm the rumours. An announcement is expected this week about a possible partnership between Cable and Wireless Communications and The Mirror newspaper concerning its launch of a subscription-free Internet service. ®
Tim Richardson, 08 Feb 1999
The Register breaking news

How MS tried to dig itself out of video hell

MS on Trial The DoJ had arranged that Felten, his two former students, and some DoJ lawyers were at the Washington offices of Sullivan and Cromwell at the appointed hour of 8.30pm last Wednesday for the videotaping of the demonstration. They were kept in the ground floor lobby for some two hours, and denied access to the sixth floor conference room where the demonstration was to be held. It is coincidental that the conference room overlooks the White House, and there is no independent confirmation that the occupants were watching for Monica, who was in town on another matter. Allchin claimed he had not been told that the DoJ team was waiting, and that there had been a problem with the three camera crews. He had been deliberately kept in the dark, it seemed, so that he wouldn't be able to answer searching questions about the delay and the logistics in the morning. It is a well-known ploy to keep opponents hanging around late at night, in the hope that their concentration is diminished. It transpired that Microsoft went out and bought six Thinkpads from a retailer, and some software. Allchin said he did not think whether these machines would have Prodigy pre-loaded. Allchin, who has a PhD in computer science and many years experience as a senior executive at Microsoft in charge of operating systems development, evidently did not consider using the find files or folders facility to check this. Allchin said the next day that he "started learning the IBM machine, and that it took him a great deal of time to establish a connection. Allchin told Holley: "We actually put quite a few ISPs in there because the phone situation was a true mess" (this in the conference room of very expensive lawyers). The boxes containing the Thinkpads were opened and the machines set up without the DoJ party being present. In view of the false claims made about the first Felten videos, not allowing the opening and set-up of the Thinkpads to be witnessed must invalidate the integrity of the demonstration completely. Allchin was accompanied by at least one of the staff who had been involved in the original demonstrations, so there can be no certainty that the present demonstration was an honest one, as the machines could have been preconditioned. Perhaps Allchin appeared to be embarrassed at his personal incompetence in using a PC, making connections, and his unfamiliarity with the detail of the Felten experiment. Allchin claimed to Boies: "The web sites dealing with the Deluxe CD go up and down, so if you take a regular Windows 98 system, occasionally you will get that same error. But I had a developer go through the code and determine that there were unique characteristics that happened in this particular case. So, it is possible that if you're at home with this Deluxe CD player that you could get an error like this if the web site was down." This detracts further from any remaining integrity in the demonstration. Allchin did not try to demonstrate the previously claimed performance degradation during the Windows update. When pressed by Boies about this, Allchin said: "I had talked to individuals, developers, who had seen performance degradation on their machines. This is out of the lab. In other words, just in use. I think I testified that I personally hadn't seen that. "I had not personally seen that when I used it, and people told me that I hadn't been using Dr Felten's program and doing enough things long enough, but I personally never saw that. And what I said on the tape is what I believe, which is that the only way, being the engineer that I am, that I would trust this is if I set up two machines, a client and a server in, you know, unconnected to the Internet in any way, and run a very confined test, which we have done, and in that confined test we saw the APIs to urlmon.dll and to mshtml.dll. Those interfaces we saw performance degradations on the test that we did. Although I didn't see it in day-to-day use, I believed that you could see those degradations if you were running things like what are called web crawlers and other things that are accessing URL's a lot. What those do is walk around the web and gather pages if you're accessing that code a lot. But I didn't attempt to do it because I didn't believe it was scientific ...". This confession, that Allchin had not been present to see the alleged degradation test, makes his evidence hearsay, and highly suspect. Boies came back to the whole point of the Felten work and asked Allchin whether he agreed that the program was not a commercial product, had been designed to demonstrate a concept, and might have problems. "Yes," he replied. Allchin confirmed that in the normal course of software engineering, when you identify a bug, you try to develop a bug fix, and then you test it. Microsoft had not tried this with Felten's program. Boies continued: "Just focussing on Microsoft's products for a moment, is it common or ordinary in early versions of programs that Microsoft distributes, including parts of Windows 98, for there to be problems with performance, slowdowns or bugs or applications breaking? Allchin did tell the truth: "Well, we -- yes, software does have bugs in it. We would all like there not to be any, but there are." With this, Allchin was sent back to Washington state and Judge Jackson announced that he would like to see counsel in his chambers. The reason for the judge's unusual move has not been disclosed, but it is a reasonable speculation that Judge Jackson wanted to air his concern at the credibility of Microsoft's witnesses, and warn Microsoft's lawyers about their future conduct. It is inevitable that this episode will cause him to reflect on the credibility of other contentious Microsoft evidence. ® Complete Register trial coverage
Graham Lea, 08 Feb 1999
The Register breaking news

MS video II – full transcript, again…

MS on Trial What follows is the judicial command performance of the re-running of the Felten discredited video claims. Because of the editing that previously took place, including the undeclared switching between machines, the video taping was allowed to run non-stop in the presence of DoJ witnesses. Allchin: Today is February 3rd, 1999. I think it's about 1040 in the evening p.m. my name is Jim Allchin. I'm accompanied immediately to my left by a technical assistant, Hadi Partovi, as well as my legal counsel to his left, Steve Holley. I'm going to demonstrate some of the effects of the Department of Justice Felten removal program on Windows 98. What we are going to show today is basically broken into two parts. The first part is we're going to show that a Felten PC--a PC that has been Feltenized, if you will, and we are going to probably refer to it as the government version that web browsing is still present in that system. The second part we are going to show on the government PC is that Windows can be unreliable and that other applications can break. This afternoon or, more appropriately, this evening, we purchased six ThinkPad I series 1400 machines with Windows 98 pre-installed. And we picked these because they had the least amount of software that we could find; meaning other applications. If necessary, we can start with appropriate OEM CD's and start from there, but we thought this was probably appropriate. I opened one of the PC's earlier this evening, and I did many of these tests on that. What I'm going to attempt to do now is walk through in a somewhat structured way, and we'll see how the phone lines and the like work, what I just mentioned between part one and part two. Now, before the video started, we opened the box, and on the table there are two PC's here. We plugged them in. We enabled "my computer," the address bar, and web folder view without single click. The OEM IBM changed those from Windows 98. We also initialised the ISP connection, and we have had quite a few phone problems here, and we will see how it goes for connections. And then we rebooted. Now, if you can see in the desktop here, this is a machine before Dr Felten's program has been run on it. You can see that the Internet explorer icon exists here. You can see that the quick launch bar there's the Internet explorer icon there. There is also some OEM software which we did not install in any way. We could take a look at some of the things that are here. There is something about ThinkPad, regular accessories, America Online, things that I don't fully know what they all are. lotus SmartSuite is on here, since this is an IBM machine, and a series of other applications. So, what I'm going to do right now is I'm going to go ahead and run dr. Felten's program, and this is a CD that we burned, and I will show you the contents of that. So, now I'm going to go and look at this CD, and we have copied this one directory in, and now I'm going to run the IE remove program. Says "you must restart," so now we are going to go ahead and do a reboot. The error message that you just saw happens on every one of the machines. It has nothing to do with Dr. Felten's program in any way. Or maybe it's not an error message. Whatever it is, it's standard with the IBM ThinkPad. I think it's going through BIOS checking. I'm not seeing anything here. Do you guys have a direct feed here? Okay. I get to figure this out. And naturally I don't have my glasses. is it that one or this one? Do you see it there, Steve? Okay. It's still continuing to reboot. I will wait until it's totally done, but if you look on the screen you will no longer see the Internet explorer icon. I'm going to go ahead and cancel. it's very nice music, but not tonight, so I'm going to go ahead and pop the CD out. So we don't have it in there and put it back in the case. And then if you look at the machine, there is no Internet Explorer icon, and there is no activity on the desktop over here. And the quick launch icons that were here are now removed. And if I now bring up the property page, you will notice, which I didn't show before, but there is a web tab here that is -- that exists on a Windows 98 system that hasn't had this program run on it. Another way you can tell, of course, is going to "my computer" and typing a web address, and I'm going to pick Amazon, if I can type. And I received the following error, "unable to open this Internet shortcut. The protocol http does not have a registered program." So, it appears that Dr Felten's program has removed IE browsing, web browsing. So now, I want to move into part one now that we have, if you will, Feltenized and made this into the government's version. This PC still has web browsing on it, and the web-browsing capability hasn't been removed. So, what I first want to do is go to start, settings, control panel, and I want to show--if I resize this thing--that there is the Internet control panel item. And as you can see that--there's the general page, all the security settings, content, connection, programs." Voice: "It mentions Internet explorer." Allchin: "Yes, right. The words `Internet Explorer' advanced. So I'm going to cancel this. Now I'm going to show another aspect. I'm going to go to start, settings, active desktop, and show that there is components that are only associated with the Internet technologies view as a web page. And I'm not going to go there right now. So now what I'm going to do is I'm going to take my life in my hands and connect on, hopefully, out on the Internet. And it is in the middle of connecting. And I should point out that even if this does fail, it's not related to Dr Felten's program. It really is Washington, DC phone connections. It's verifying the password. Yes. Okay. We are just going to--I'm going to try this one more time, and then we may decide to stop the video, and everyone can watch while we just try this over and over until we finally get a phone connection. It's attempting to connect. All right. We have connected. I'm going to check what speed it is. It's 21,600. I don't want to see this box again. It's just a "you are connected to MSN," so I'm going to close that. Now that we're connected, I'm going to go ahead and close that, and I'm going to go over to look at Windows update and show that while it appears to operate, it actually does not operate. While it's waiting to come up, you will notice up here in the title bar it says "Windows 98," which is something that Dr Felten's program puts into the registry. And the connection is very slow, and we will just wait for it. If, in fact, it takes too long, it turns out you get errors on the screen because of the delays. The performance problem you're seeing here, in general, has nothing to do with Dr Felten's program. You can see we lost the connection. You connection was dropped. So, I'm going to try to reconnect here. It's attempting to connect again. Okay, we're back, and--all right. We're looking fast now, 4800--I mean 48,000. Sorry. check that again. 48,000. So, let's go up to Windows update again. and it's coming up. It's downloading the page. you could see it very brightly down here where the mouse is. And it appears it's up, but if you select on any of these sites, it does not work. If we go up to help and do "about Internet explorer," it shows that Internet explorer 4.0 is there. Now, what I think I'm going to do is go ahead and show that the core functionality of Windows update doesn't work, and I'm going to do that by selecting the Windows update product updates catalogue. And it's in the middle of downloading some information, and I will get four dialogue boxes talking about the acceptance of this particular software in my machine. you might notice that up above here all of the standard browsing functionality that you would expect is present. So, there's the security warning. I'm going to agree to that. I'm going to agree to this one. I'm going to agree to this one. I'm going to agree to this one. And this is the page that you receive, then, once it completes that, cannot display page. Note that this is different than what you may have seen on a prior videotape because this display here handles an error condition that's being returned to it in a more appropriate way. however, in that standard Windows 98 system you would see a nice display of a product catalogue here that you could choose to download software. So now I'm going to leave Windows update, and I'm going to go to show that it's fairly easy to prove that web browsing still exists on this machine. I'm going to do it with the help facility, which is reliant upon the Internet technologies. I'm going to move this screen down. I'm going to hide this, and I'm just--for convenience--and open this up. and I'm going to say "jump to a URL," and I'm going to go to--I think I'm going to go to Amazon first. And it's in the middle of downloading the pages--the page, excuse me. And if you're really into the testament--I have no idea what it's about--you could select it and download that information. We could choose to go to Lycos and look at Lycos, which is a search site on the Internet. And since I'm probably in more trouble than many, will look at Valentine information, and then we'll go to show that I can also, through here, go and see my local disk, which is very interesting. And I can also move back or forward, just like this simple unified navigation, which we think is good for users, and I just hit the back key, and notice that we went back to Lycos. If I go forward, I go back to the desktop. From here I can browse to any page on the Internet. So, I want to leave Windows help now, and I want to go to "my computer," and from "my computer" I want to--if at all possible, for everyone to notice what the toolbar looks like. Maybe I should drill down a little bit into some areas. Let's go look at Lotus information. And from here I can go backwards, I can go forwards, moving back and forth from what I looked at. There is ability to go up the directory tree, cut, copy, paste, undo, delete, properties, and views. Now what I'm going to show is this area is--is also the same functionality that you would expect if you were browsing other sites, other information sources. Still have the back and forward, but now you have things that you might typically have seen on an Internet site such as the x, the refresh, home, search, favourites, history, channels, full screen, mail and printing. And this error that I typed here was just an HTML set of information. And actually, I believe we saw it come up earlier in the video. Now what I want to do is open the history bar, and you can see that the history bar still exists, and I'm going to go down and open up Windows update. And we can see that. It should open in the right pane. I will wait until it comes up. still waiting for the rest of the screen to come up. There it is. So, you can do that. But if I try to go to Amazon, I receive the error, "unable to open this Internet shortcut. The protocol HTTP does not have a registered program." So, the integrated explorer is visible, but it's disabled." Voice: "Mr Allchin, we are going to run out of tape, and so we need to change it and need to take a brief break." Allchin: "Okay. I won't touch the computer." Now it's live? Okay. I uncross my hands. I'm going to, now that the Windows update site is on the screen, I'm going to try--I don't think I tried this yet. I will try Lycos, and again I see the error. So I'm going to close out of Windows update. Now what I'm going to do is I'm going to show that integrated browsing can be enabled very simply through the registry database that is on a Windows 98 machine, and I'm going to turn this on by starting a regedit. I should be clear that what I'm going to do is just enable and in at least one case that I'm aware of how to make http work, I going to find a register key called "Site handler," which Dr Felten's program installs. And I'm going to add a new key to this; new value, actually. And there you can see the new value number one that has become so famous. And I'm going to flip the light switch or circuit breaker, or whatever analogy you might like, to turn http on in this particular scenario. And I'm just going to minimise this because I want to not have to switch so many machines. And I'm going to minimise that for right now, and show that that simple change let's you do quite a number of new things. So, if you remember before, we got an error when I typed Amazon here from the "my computer" item. And as you can see, we now have http browsing easily available to us, and we can go look at this particular page. But just so there is no confusion about whether that might have been cached or something, you could also watch the lights down at the bottom right. But I'm going to pick something else today in music. And as you can see, I can browse there easily. I could also back up using the back arrow to the local file system, which is the unification that we think is very good. Now what I'm going to do, because I have shown that, is I'm going to go back in and disable or remove what I just did. If you notice, I'm going down here to delete this key. it says, "are you sure you want to delete this value?" I keep saying "key." I mean value. And I have removed it. And there were there were four entries when I started, and now there are four entries. I could take a brand new machine and come back, but for speed reasons, I'm not going to do that. I can say that on another machine it would act the same if I had not done that sequence. Now--so, that basically shows that you can get the web browsing on this system, and the reason why is the technology is still in Windows 98, and it's only been hidden and not totally completely. Now I want to move to the second section which is about showing that Windows has been impaired, showing that it has some reliability issues and that some features are broken and some third-party apps fail. This is after Dr Felten's program has been run. So, just to make sure that I didn't do anything in error, I want to type in web address here again. And since I changed the registry back exactly the way it was, when I type www.amazon.com and I hit the return key, we should see the error from Dr Felten's program, which is unable to open this Internet shortcut. the protocol http does not have a registered program. So I'm going to say okay. Now what I'm going to do is go on to some other areas that have problems, but I want to remind you that Windows update already--I've already shown that Windows update has problems in the web--the Windows update web site, so now what I want to do is show another problem, which earlier I showed going to settings, active desktop. And I showed that this material--these options existed. I'm going to turn on the web page, view as a web page, and you could see the screen went into a very unique mode in which all the icons are gone, and you can't really do anything in this window. You could scroll around in it. I should point out that I have seen this on multiple machines from different manufacturers do different things, but they're all equally broken. So, you might not know how to get out of this. It actually takes a little looking. It took us a little while to find out how to do this without rebooting. We did learn how to do it, and I right-mouse, and I just say "refresh," and I can bring the system back without having to reboot. Now that's the third--second issue that I wanted to show. I want to show a third issue now, and what I'm going to do is I'm going to bring up a facility that is shipped in Windows 98 called "notepad." I could use any other word processor, but I happen to have notepad, so I'm going to just do a small html program here that says "hello," and I'm going to save this to the local desktop, and I'm going to give it a name called "hello.htm." So, the reason why I'm creating that is that I want to show that there are some unique characteristics of this program that would never happen on Windows 98. Now, what I'm going to do is I have, if you see it on the screen here, I have "hello.htm," and what I'm going to do is double-click on this. and since Dr Felten has removed the association for htm, the operating system doesn't know what program to run, so I'm going to select explorer, and it will open and show you that through explorer there is the html text rendered through mshtml. So now what I'm going to do--so far so good, you might think--now what I'm going to do is type in "Amazon.com "again and hit return, and you notice the system goes into a unique weird flashing state. And, in fact, you can't really move the thing around. It's just sort of very confused. It's definitely not well right now. so, you could try to click start, but that won't work either. You can't--it won't stay up, no matter what you do. So, the system is in a unique state here because of other problems that Dr Felten's programs introduced into Windows 98. And I tried to kill that, and it's left the system in a little bit of a funny state. So I'm going to try something here I haven't tried before, refresh, to go away. So now those are some basic features, and I'm certainly not trying to be comprehensive. I wanted to start showing some issues that I have seen with applications. And again, it's not extensive, but I'm going to start by showing the deluxe CD application. And I have a plus box that I'm going to--and unfortunately, we didn't up this one beforehand, and see if I cannot kill myself with--oops, well, see, almost. I wish we had opened it all. So, it's the plus CD, and I'm going to put the plus CD in the CD-ROM. And if you don't mind, since my eyes are not so great, once this autostarts--I'm going to try to kill the music, and it's going to install Plus. Now, what I'm going to do, to save time, I'm going to accept the license agreement, and I'm going to type the key in, and if you could read me the key, it would be great." Voice: "4681112162." Allchin: "And then I'm going to select next. And I'm not going to scan for a virus since this is a brand new machine, doesn't have viruses. And besides, it takes a long time. And I'm going to do custom install not complete--doesn't make any difference, but again for time, and it will ask me what are the features that I want. I just want the custom CD. I don't want any of the themes or games or--look at all this stuff. So, I just wanted the deluxe CD, and so I say "next," and it's now going to copy the files onto the machine. Now, you notice that Jim and demo showed up in the box for the owner--I don't know what the exact words were. Those were typed in when these machines were initially put to their state that I described initially. So, it says we're finished. congratulations. It's been successful. I don't know if I have to reboot or not. Do you know? Voice: I don't know. Allchin: I don't know either. It didn't tell me to reboot, but I thought you were supposed to reboot. Well, I don't mind a little risk. I do have a CD. I've never heard of this person before in my life, and I'm going to put it in, and we still have the Internet connection here. It's still live. And I'm going to--should I reboot so that everyone is a hundred percent sure? Voice: Sure. Allchin: Okay. I'm going to reboot, even though it didn't tell me that I had to. I'm going to reboot. I don't want anybody to think there is some magic about us not having rebooted the thing. It's just unfortunate it's going to have to take some time. Voice: You have to do something to get the screen to come back. Allchin: Oh, I'm sorry. It's on over there? Voice: Yes. Allchin: Okay. Now, unfortunately, I'm going to go through the pain of getting reconnected again. So, now I'm going to--going to go and try to re-establish a connection again. And I think I used this one, and it's dialling. You notice that we put several connectoids in here, different phone numbers, because we didn't know which one we would be able--we would need to use to be able to connect. And because it's 11:28 at night now, things are getting better on the connections, because we couldn't get through virtually at all before. So now we are connected. Voice: I should say something. I should point out the IBM Global Network connectoid was there installed by the OEM by default. That one we didn't add. Allchin: I want to see how faster we got here. Okay. We are not quite as fast. Does everyone see that? 21,600? And I'm just going to put in a CD now. This is a music CD, to be clear. And it says that it wants to download. The driver is being scanned, and it can't. I see that I wanted to try to connect to the Internet. And as can you see, it is playing--try to find the volume here to turn it down--but it did get an error. It should have automatically gone out on the Internet and connected and got the volume information. And I really verify and willing to stay through the night to show that this CD on Windows 95 system--I'm going to stop this. If he does it on a brand new Windows 98 machine, but it would have automatically connected and gotten that information. Okay. So, that was one application failure. now I want to move on to another application, and I'm going to use Money99. Now, in my testimony, I talked about money99, but in the tape Money98 was done. I was pretty focussed to go ahead and do both Money98 and Money99, but we could not find a copy of Money98 in this town at this time of the night, and so it's an old copy, meaning Money99 is what's being sold, so that's what we went out and purchased. This particular one is the Money99 financial suite. So I'm going to, again, go through installing Money99, which is this CD here. Now, as I mentioned, the two I'm going to take out so it's not confusing. I'm taking out the music CD, and I'm putting in the Money99 CD. I did mention that the different versions of money had different characteristics about how they operated and what, you know, issues--there were more issues in Money99. So autoplay--autostart is happening. It's seeing that it's Money99 installation. I'm just going to answer next. I'm going to say continue, so I'm just doing the regular install. That's the name that was typed in earlier, the product identification code. And now it's going to search for install components, and this machine hasn't had anything done with money installed on it, as you know, so I'm going to say okay. I agree to the license, and it's in the middle of installing, so I'm going to go up here and click continue to install Money99. And it's checking for necessary disk space, and it's in the middle of copying on the files. This particular application has many, many errors in it when run on the government version of Windows 98. It says that we need to restart Windows to complete the installation, and I'm going to go ahead and agree to that and restart Windows. Voice: Allchin, we are once again running out of tape, so while the machine is rebooting we are going to have to change the tape. Allchin: Okay. I won't touch it. Okay. The computer rebooted, and I had to make one change on the keyboard to turn on so that I could see the screen here. I'm going to cancel out of this screen, and I'm going to start Microsoft money. I'm going to go up to programs--oops. I'm going to go to programs down to Microsoft money and select it. And in this particular case I'm not connected on the Internet. It's creating a new file for me to work in. So, I think it's going to try to play me a little tour here. I'm just going to go ahead and let it continue on. And if you don't mind, we are going to kill the tour. Now it says, `what's your name.' We are turning down the volume when were we born? Well, apparently, I was born yesterday, with the way things are going, so I'm going to say done answering everything, and I get an error. It says `Internet explorer cannot open the Internet site money colon slash slash profiler slash results. The protocol specified in this address is not valid. Make sure the address is correct and try again. Okay, well, I don't know what that all meant, so now let's go try something else. Let's just go try to do something like help. And we get the error again, but all of a sudden I'm in a weird state. In fact, I lost total control. Can't do anything on this machine right now. I'm hitting the left-mouse key in all sorts of places, and I can't do anything. So, right now the system is in a very confused state. Needless to say, Money99 works quite a bit different on a Windows 95--Windows 98 system that has not been changed by Dr Felten's program, and we have got an error here. Let's do that again, and let's--it's just weird things start happening. And if I try to go up into some of these areas, I just get all sorts of different errors that are coming out on the screen. Another error here. Another error here. Needless to say, there are a number of mis takes showing up here caused by running this particular application on the government version. Now, what we would like to do now is a little bit complicated because I didn't want there to be any confusion about interactions between these applications. And so I want to change machines, and I want to do on a fresh machine--without anything that's happened here, I want to do Prodigy. There are enough questions that I wanted to explain it very carefully about what's going on. We're going to go to another machine that started in a mode like this one, and I'm going to install the prodigy CD that I have someplace here that came in this package. Voice: So, let's cut the video long enough to change the cable from one PC to the other. And the location. I think we will just move the PC into the camera range. Allchin: One question, fine. Yep, that will be fine. (Pause.) Allchin: Okay. We have switched machines to a machine that started in the same general form. There may have been a different set of things in the dial-up connections. I want to go there so that everybody can see. We didn't put the same list there, but- Voice: We have one less connection. Allchin: One less, but that was simply because we were so worried on this machine to have enough. As you can see, it hasn't been Feltenized, if I can use that term, and starting with the Internet Explorer icon in the desktop and in the quick launch bar. And I think now I will Feltenize it. So, I'm taking the same CD that I had before, going through the same process. and I want to explain again why I'm doing this, because since there are a number of errors, I didn't want anyone to think that there was cause because the other programs had errors. So, I'm going to open the folder again, just like I did previously, and run this program again. And it says you must restart just like you did before, and I'm going to say yes. And again, you see the same message that you saw on the other computer. These are, by the way, exactly the same model. We bought them at the same store. As I said, we bought six of them exactly the same. And we are waiting for it to boot. Are you seeing something? Okay. This is the same messages that we saw in the last computer after running the program, and we are waiting for it to boot. And if you notice after it comes up the rest of the way, and all the icons in the tray are present. I want to kill the tour, and the CD is still in the CD case. I'm going to remove the CD, put it back in its case. Now I wanted to point out that the Internet explorer icon is missing from the desktop, and the other icons are missing in the quick launch area, and I open up "my computer," and I'll just try a web site that I was trying before. Of course, we don't have a connection, but, of course, that doesn't matter because we get the error unable to open this Internet shortcut that this protocol http does not have a registered program. So, indeed, if you look that there is no active support here as it existed before. So now we have a system that has web browsing hidden just like the other machine, and I'm going to take the prodigy CD and install that on this machine, just like an end user would. Oh, yes. Oh, yes. I should show something which I didn't, and it's pretty important, so I'm going to cancel this since I just noticed I didn't do it. I want to show, just so that everybody agrees, Windows update and what it says on the task bar--I mean, the title bar. It says `Windows 98' in the title bar. I don't want to do this auto connection. I just to want get out of there. And now I'm going to do the CD again, go ahead and hit autoplay. And the Windows 98 title change was the one that Dr Felten's program inserted. It says `install prodigy Internet.' I'm going to go ahead and say okay. And here we are again. I'm just going to do easy installation. And, of course, I want to improve the quality of my connection. I will say yes. And this is a bunch of information, and away it's going to go to install Prodigy. It says to press this button to finish, so I do. And it gives me an error, unable to open this Internet shortcut. The protocol bunch of unique characters does not have a registered program. I say okay. It says the registration has been cancelled. And so what I want to do right now is I want to--the install has failed, to be very clear here, Prodigy failure. And this CD does work fine on the Windows 98 machine. So, if I -- although we're not going to show all that tonight. I forgot what I'm going to show. I'm going to show Windows update because there was some confusion about the title bar. and if you notice now that prodigy has been run, the title bar for Windows update has been changed, and this message is because it's trying to connect again, so I'm just going to cancel all of this. I will say stay offline and just exit. Now what I'm going to do is I'm going to go and uninstall Prodigy. I'm not thinking here. Control panel, add/remove, Prodigy Internet 4.0. I'm going to remove it. It says remove all connections. I will say yes. So it is removed, Prodigy. And because there was some confusion over that, I wanted to go ahead and show that in Windows update the title bar stays the same as a Windows 98 system. This is what you saw on one of the demo tapes earlier, or--period, so... And because I don't have a connection here, I'm just going to exit. So, I think I'm going to stop there. What I tried to show is that you can, in fact, do web browsing on the Internet on a machine that has had Dr Felten's program run on it. The second thing I wanted to show was that there are a number of issues that arise because of the interaction of that program in the system, and I haven't been able to take the time to show all the issues that I've personally seen or that have been tested, and it would be incredibly difficult for me to immediately show the performance issues. That has to be in a controlled lab environment, and I do not have that here, and but I think that we've shown what I've set out to do. Now, one of the things I didn't do is have Navigator on this machine, and--nor have I shown you what the situation would be like if we're on a regular Windows 98 system. And, at least on this tape I'm not going to show that. I think people want to go home, so I'm going to stop there. One other minor thing I just noticed, I noticed that the date didn't get typed in here right, so that was another difference between these machines. Other than that, they're as close as we could possibly make them, and I'm done. ® Complete Register trial coverage
Graham Lea, 08 Feb 1999
The Register breaking news

Conclusion: DoJ spin bowls MS video clean

MS on Trial The DoJ team is learning a few tricks from Microsoft. Having had its own witnesses intimidated by senior Microsoft staff sitting in the front row of the courtroom and known to its witnesses, who better to invite to sit in the front row last week than Edward Felten and his boys, who had detected the sleight of hand in the video. Michael Lacovara, who deserves the prize for being Microsoft's most boring cross-examiner, commented that "David [Boies] got a big bang on a very trivial issue." Is he suggesting that "trivial" lies are acceptable? The hapless Mark Murray was seen to rush from the courtroom punching buttons on his mobile phone as Boies' questions hit the bullseye. Murray's biggest mistake was when he said, standing alongside Neukom, that "The first tape was showing, was using computers in a studio to illustrate the points that we had discovered in the laboratory." The use of the word "illustrate" gave the game away: the video was a dishonest demonstration intended to deceive the court. He also rather stupidly said that "One of the great things about the software industry is that if there are bugs, you can go back and fix them." The corollary seemed to be "we can rewrite history". Tod Nielsen of Microsoft said of that "Each time we connected we got a different performance rate, a different sized pipe. So it would have been unfair to either side to compare, you know, one machine at one rate with another machine at another rate." The earlier tests were probably too fast for Microsoft to demonstrate the slow performance it so desperately wanted. Bill Neukom, Microsoft's head lawyer who has been completely silent in the courtroom (and sometimes absent), had to admit "We didn't make a very good tape" and that Microsoft would make it "unambiguously clear that the Felten program does not do what its supposed to do." He was wrong. Rich Gray, a San Jose-based attorney following the trial, suggested that "The last time the United States government inflicted this much punishment on a foe, the evening news was filled with aerial photography of bombed-out vehicles and burning Iraqi tanks on the highway leading out of Kuwait City." Boies was rather restrained in his comments outside the courtroom: "Microsoft says this is some kind of mistake. I'm not going to stand here and say something nefarious happened in Redmond. All we know is that the tape they put in evidence is not reliable." The most telling point, the one that is likely to influence Judge Jackson, was verbalised by Boies: "This is not public relations, this is not sales ... We know that [the test] was not as portrayed, and that's important, because what a court needs is to have confidence that the evidence is accurate." ® Complete Register trial coverage
Graham Lea, 08 Feb 1999
The Register breaking news

Intel slashes Celeron prices – again

Intel cut the price of its Celeron entry-level processors yesterday, as preparation for the introduction of its 433MHz part. But although the date of the introduction of the Celeron 433MHz remains 28 February, an Intel representative said that it would now be released in mid-March to allow the latest price changes to filter through the channels. The Celeron 366MHz drops by 24 per cent to $93, the 400MHz to $133, the 333MHz to $73 and the 300A to $63. These prices are all when bought in quantities of 1000 and represent 24 per cent, 16 per cent, 19 per cent and 11 per cent drops respectively. The Intel representative said: "The price moves are to make room for a 433MHz part." He would give no date for the introduction of a 466MHz Celeron but that is likely to be mid-year. ® See also Analysis: AMD caught by Intel's devilish pricing
Mike Magee, 08 Feb 1999
The Register breaking news

AMD to call K6-3 the ‘AMD K6-III’

Sources close to AMD in Japan told The Register today that the K6-3 is to be called the K6-III, using Roman numerals. But that is likely to spur Intel to fury, given that it insisted AMD did not call the K6-2 the K6-II, a suggestion to which AMD agreed. At the same time, dealer selling prices of AMD parts showed that the smaller chip player was ready and willing to take on Intel at its pricing game. From this morning, the K6-2/300 will cost $65, the K6-2/333 $75, the K6-2/350 $90, the K6-2/366 $96, the K6-2/380 $123, the K6-2/400 $138 and the K6-2/450, now officially launched, $210. An AMD UK representative said the name had not changed, just the way the number was written. But it is now obvious that the battle between both AMD and Intel is on with a vengeance, with the K6-III aimed squarely at the Pentium III. ® Related Stories Analysis: AMD caught by Intel's devilish price fork K6-3 to have new name as software war begins Intel slashes Celeron prices -- again
Mike Magee, 08 Feb 1999
The Register breaking news

Big Blue, Big Five to unveil Net music system

IBM and the 'big five' global music companies -- Universal, EMI, Bertelsmann, Time-Warner and Sony -- will today finally pull the wraps off Project Madison, the secret Big Blue-led development of a piracy-protected Internet music delivery system. The announcement will also cover the commencement of the first public trial of the technology, due to begin in the next few months, as predicted here. The trial will involve 1000 users in the San Diego, California area, connected via the Road Runner cable TV network. It's not yet clear whether the trail will involve dedicated set-top box hardware or generic PCs hooked into the network through cable modems. Whatever the hardware used, the software underpinning the system has to prevent the user from making copies for friends and colleagues. Whether the software will therefore allow downloaded albums to be copied to a recordable CD remains to be seen. In a shift away from the current Internet music download scene, which is focused on the sale of individual tracks, Madison is geared towards the sale of albums, around 1000 of which will be available for ordering through the Madison Web site. The trial will be watched keenly by the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI), the investigative body formed by one of the music industry's trade organisations, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), to propose a universal standard format for downloadable music. The SDMI was launched last year as an attempt to beat proponents of the MP3 audio format, the de facto standard for Internet music distribution, at their own game. The SDMI's chosen format is set to be sufficiently open to win the support of MP3 fans, yet can be used to prevent piracy and so appease the major labels (see Secure Digital Music Initiative launched to kill MP3) In response, 48 MP3 resellers and technology companies formed the Genuine Music Coalition, a broad agreement to add piracy-preventing watermarks to MP3 downloads, again to address the specific concerns of the major labels and the RIAA that MP3 isn't a 'safe' technology (see MP3 companies to launch anti-piracy coalition). Each move shows that both sides are eager to come together and they believe a compromise solution can satisfy music fans, artists, publishers, labels and resellers alike. Incidentally, driving that compromise is Liquid Audio, an audio software specialist whose Liquid Tracks format is very fortunately...) MP3-based yet offers powerful levels of protection against piracy. Liquid Audio recognises that its own format is effectively dead if it's not backed by the SDMI. Given the SDMI's support from the RIAA, it's assumed that it has the backing of the major labels. That may, however, not be the case. If Madison, which on the face if it is entirely independent of the SDMI, is based on proprietary technology, it means the majors are opposed to the kind of compromise the SDMI is pursuing, validating the claims of the MP3 proponents that the majors just want to carve up the music download market for themselves. Unfortunately, even if they largely succeed, there's likely to be enough of an MP3 presence to deflect suggestions that an illegal music cartel is in operation. That is, after all, what a world totally dominated by a format owned and controlled by just five companies would be. ®
Tony Smith, 08 Feb 1999
closed_sign shut down under collapsed liquidation

LG Semicon-Hyundai merger could happen next week

Reports in the Korean press said today that the LG Semicon strikers in the peninsula have returned to work after they were given guarantees of two years' employment and a "special bonus" of six months payment.
Mike Magee, 08 Feb 1999
The Register breaking news

How Allchin exposed video fiddle last Monday – but nobody noticed

MS on Trial When we reported the Microsoft video "fraud" last week (MS admits video wasn't real), we said we were sure we'd seen an earlier Microsoft admission that the performance testing of Felten's program had not been conducted over a live Internet connection. Our thanks are due to reader David Cardinal, who re-found it for us in Allchin's transcript. Oddly enough, what happened was that the video was exposed as a fraud a couple of seconds before government attorney David Boies launched into his murderous destruction it. But Allchin and Boies both seem to have been too busy on other things to notice. Try this: Boies: Now, one of the things that you said about professor Felten's program was that when you tried to do the Windows Update function, there was significant degradation of the performance of Windows. Do you recall that? Allchin: Yes, there was a statement about that. The test that we know shows performance has to be done in a controlled circumstance. You cannot prove the performance slowdown when you're connected to the Internet. You can only prove it in a controlled situation, which is how we test the performance degradation. Tape excerpt: It is taking a very long time, however - unusually long - to access that Web site. That's a result of the performance degradation that has occurred because of running the Felten program. So there you have it, immediately before Boies started freeze-framing, Allchin said that the performance tests hadn't been carried out on the Internet. Then the video clip voiceover showed what purported to be a performance test which was connected to the Internet. Later, Allchin says it again: " For performance, that is exactly what we did - for performance, without being connected to the Internet, machines side by side in a private network, testing specific tests that we knew we had run on the same system... What's on the screen is the truth..." Well no, not exactly - he's panicking, but he should be aware that it can only be an illustration of what he calls the truth. When Allchin attempted to repeat the video demonstration on Wednesday night, he didn't try to deal with the performance issue, because as he well knew comparable conditions couldn't be created via live Internet connections. But this isn't quite how Microsoft's spin doctors have been putting it. Although the video had been downgraded to an "illustration" by the end of the week, Microsoft's press releases from last week don't entirely reflect either this or the verifiable facts. "On Monday the testimony of a senior Microsoft executive, supported by a series of videotaped demonstrations..." (Our Italics) - press release of 1 February, released 2 February. And then in one dated 4 February: "In a live software demonstration last night... Wednesday night's live demonstration confirmed the accuracy of the earlier videotape..." By that stage, of course, Microsoft was only arguing that the video had been valid as far as the functionality Allchin covered in the second video was concerned. These protestations of "accuracy" were of course immediately undermined by Microsoft's admission that the video was merely an "illustration" of Allchin's points. Where this leaves Microsoft is open to question. The judge called counsel to his chambers after last week's sessions, and in open court had sounded somewhat ballistic when the not entirely valid nature of video number one was exposed. It's pretty clear that what Microsoft has been telling the public, via its press releases and courtroom step claims, has been somewhat inaccurate. But one wonders what the judge thinks about what Microsoft has been telling him? ® Complete Register trial coverage
John Lettice, 08 Feb 1999
The Register breaking news

Rational president obeys MS call to colours

MS on Trial Michael Devlin, president of tools maker Rational, had his half-day in court. For him, it was clearly a marketing exercise and a call to the colours by Microsoft. His direct testimony read like a sales brochure, included a promotional video, and included only the very kindest things about Microsoft. Devlin claims that agreeing to testify would be "neutral to our business interests" and that he "felt it was my duty to do so as a citizen". In his cross-examination, David Boies established that Rational depended on Microsoft in several ways. Devlin could not deny what had been written in the company's 10-Q to the SEC "The company believes its continued success will increasingly become dependent on its ability to support the Microsoft platform, including the Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows NT operating systems" and so Microsoft's success was closely linked to Rational's success. Rational also has a contract with Microsoft whereby Relational's Rose product is included in Microsoft Visual Studio. At the end of his cross-examination, Devlin admitted to Boies that his lawyer had discussed it "with Microsoft people", but he did not know with whom because he worked through his lawyer. It could be that Tom Burt of Microsoft, who conducted the redirect examination, was one of the Microsoft people. Judge Jackson instructed Burt not to reiterate issues covered in the direct testimony, but he did so nevertheless. One example was when he asked if Rational had developed products for Navigator, which set Devlin up for a tirade as to how Microsoft's componentisation of IE was easier to use. Boies in his recross asked Devlin about some other sections of Rational's 10-Q: "Although certain aspects of the business alliance are contractual in nature, many important aspects of the relationship depend on the continued co-operation of the two companies, and there can be no assurance that Rational and Microsoft will be able to work together successfully over an extended period of time. "In addition, there can be no assurance that Microsoft will not use the information it gains in its relationship with rational to develop or market competing products. ... There can be no assurance that Microsoft will not use such rights to create and distribute products that compete with other Rational products. ... Should Microsoft exercise such right sales of the visual test product by Rational could be materially and adversely impacted. ... While Rational believes that Microsoft's and Rational's strategies currently are complementary, there can be no assurance that Microsoft will not use this right to develop and market competing products in the future." Boies had of course fingered a very compelling reason for Rational to help Microsoft in its hour of need. It was surprising that Microsoft had not been able to find a more distant ISV to testify on its behalf - but perhaps Microsoft general counsel Bill Neukom had underestimated the ability of the DoJ team. The result was another coffin nail. Will Poole, Microsoft's senior director of business development for Windows, should be giving evidence today, especially about Microsoft's relations with the content providers. The question is will Will or won't Will rewrite history? ® Complete Register trial coverage
Graham Lea, 08 Feb 1999
The Register breaking news

Nintendo legal rumblings provoke boycott call

PC users keen play games using emulation software have been urged to boycott Nintendo in response the Great Satan of Italian Plumbers' statements that is considering legal action against the two developers of the latest N64 emulator, UltraHLE. The call came from Classic Gaming, a Web site devoted to emulation. "In light of Nintendo's recent controversial actions and statements, there is growing support for a boycott of Nintendo," claimed the site. "If Nintendo does go ahead with a lawsuit, momentum for such a boycott will no doubt gather steam, and could ultimately cost Nintendo more than had they just left well enough alone." The statement was made after the one of developers of UltraHLE (Ultra High-Level Emulator) issued their response to Nintendo's possible legal challenge. "I can adamantly state that we, in no way, circumvented any [Nintendo] security device as [a Nintendo spokeswoman] has suggested. I don't even know what it is," wrote the developer, 'RealityMan'. "We used publicly available information in the creation of this software and only emulated core processor technology." That Nintendo claim was made last week when the company responded to questions posed after UltraHLE was removed from its download site within 24 hours of its posting there (see N64 emulator vanishes after lawsuit threat). Nintendo also claimed emulators were "illegal" because they encourage users to pirate N64 games. The emulator was removed in case Nintendo began legal action against the developers, just as Sony is planning to do with commercial Mac-based PlayStation emulator creator Connectix. RealityMan's defence is essentially that offered by Connectix in its own case: that no intellectual property was violated because the emulator was developed using a 'clean room' using a room approach -- you tabulate what the system does in response to certain inputs and replicate that behaviour. Sony also claimed Connectix's emulator, Virtual GameStation (VGS), promoted piracy by bypassing security systems, a claim that Connectix denies. Connectix last week won the first round of the battle when Sony was not granted a preliminary court order banning sales of VGS until the main case is settled (see earlier story). However, while VGS can play legitimate PlayStation CDs, UltraHLE has to work with games illegally downloaded from an N64 game cartridge. Of course, whether such acts are the responsibility of the emulator developer is open to question. In Connectix's case, the company can argue VGS is like a hi-fi's double tape deck -- it's can and is meant to be used legitimately. That doesn't necessarily apply to UltraHLE since it can't be used with legitimate N64 games, at least until someone somehow merges the PC and N64 platforms. ® See also PlayStation emulator developer to fight Sony lawsuit Sony to sue Connectix over PlayStation emulator Apple to bid for PlayStation emulator outfit? PlayStation emulator launched for Mac
Tony Smith, 08 Feb 1999
The Register breaking news

The future's looking Orange for Microsoft

BT and Microsoft are today expected to put their faith in the wireless Internet access market today and announce a UK deal. According to today’s Financial Times, the two were believed to be in talks last night. If it goes ahead the deal will be the software giant’s first move into telecommunications in the UK. The deal is expected to be announced by Paul Maritz, Microsoft group president for platforms and applications, at a New Orleans-based wireless industry conference later today. Microsoft already has an agreement to offer a wireless Internet service to mobile phone companies through Qualcomm. BT is a major shareholder in UK company Cellnet, a factor which could prove important, providing the necessary infrastructure. Speculation over the deal coincides with a report in The Independent that Microsoft was in merger talks with another UK mobile phone company, Orange. ®
Linda Harrison, 08 Feb 1999
The Register breaking news

Anti-abortion fanatics threaten use of Web cam

The anti-abortion fundamentalists behind the Nuremberg Files -- a Web site that issued death threats to more than 200 US doctors who performed terminations --have vowed to take their crusade to Europe. Extreme pro-life activists have said they will take pictures of women visiting abortion clinics in the UK using a Web camera and will post their pictures on anti-abortion Web sites. The cameras will either be carried by activists calling themselves "Sidewalk Counsellors" -- who keep a vigil-like guard outside clinics -- or they will be mounted on walls outside clinics. This threat to personal privacy comes less than a week after a federal judge found the American Coalition of Life Activists and the Advocates for Life Ministries -- the people behind the Nuremberg Files site and this latest move -- guilty of inciting violence. More than a dozen US anti-abortion activists who used the Internet to publicise their opinions were ordered to pay more than $100 million in damages by the US court. Although the Nuremberg Files site was finally pulled late last week by host ISP MindSpring, Neal Horsley, the man behind the site, said it will be back up again this week. He also said he has received offers from other ISPs willing to host it for him and he used this opportunity to confirm that the Nuremberg Files would expand it presence and that the Web cam feature in Europe, the US and Japan would be a part of that. A representative of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service -- which has 36 clinics around the UK and carries out 50,000 abortions each year -- admitted that she was concerned by the threat. She said the activity in the UK was not as extreme or on the same scale of protests seen in the US. "The notion of filming women in this way is despicable and inhumane," she said, "It completely undermines a woman's right to privacy." Although the activists in the US claim they have a legal right to publish such information under the First Amendment of the American Constitution, a spokesman for the Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) organisation said this is not a question of freedom of speech. Any attempt to publish such personal and private information in the UK would be in breach of the Data Protection Act, he said. ®
Tim Richardson, 08 Feb 1999
The Register breaking news

No such thing as a free PC

Free-PC.com is giving away computers for free. Literally. In a $10 million experiment,California-based Free-PC.com is doling out 10,000 Compaq Presarios to punters prepared to share their intimate buying habits with the company. No doubt, the demographics have to be right too. Free-PC.com ain't saying what people have to be to qualify for their freebie. The company is offering a sub-$1000 Compaq system, with a Pentium 333MHz processor, 32MB RAM and 4GB hard drive. This is not exactly top of the range, but at these non-prices, who's complaining? The Internet connection is also free. At least half of the hard drive is filled with adverts, which cannot be removed and which are permanently displayed. New ads are downloaded automatically when Freebie PC users go on-line. Some ads are full-motion,so online refreshes could be inordinately time-consuming. This feature of the Freebie PC would hamper extension of the programme to countries, such as the UK, where local calls are paid for. Freebie users who do not use the Internet for at least ten hours a month, will see their PC attempt to dial-up and download new adverts automatically. It will be interesting to see how Free-PC.com enforces its conditions of usage. Analyst Clive Longbottom of CSL Consultancy, said: "I think what they’ll do is send the boys round and take the thing back. And they’ll probably be doing a lot of that." Giving PCs away may seem an unusual sales strategy, but many industry watchers have predicted that this is the logical conclusion of falling hardware prices. Although no UK company has announced a similar offer -- yet -- it looks likely that it will be available here soon. Longbottom says: "This is the next logical step for ISPs; they have tried giving away software and free Internet access to get people on-line. They will not be giving these computers away as PCs, but as Internet entrance points." The Freebie PC project is also evidence of how companies can make use of surplus budget-priced PCs. According to Longbottom there will be a "new market for bottom-end and even reconditioned PCs in this area". ®
Will Knight, 08 Feb 1999
The Register breaking news

Doubts still remain over unclothed PIIIs in Japan

After taking a quick decco at pages we reported over the weekend as having genuine Pentium IIIs, Intel was still maintaining they were not the genuine article this morning. Intel UK said serial numbers on the chips did not match the genuine article. And a reader from the US said: "The top left picture of the 'PIII' in Japan has the voltage listed as 2.0V, but the PIII is actually a 1.8V core chip. "I live in Toledo, Ohio, and there is a local store that has a 'PIII' 500MHz in their display case for $800. "It is wearing a SECC2 but they would not let me look at it more closely. I am sure some of the chips are 'litigament' leaks from Intel but I would have to imagine the vast majority are, in fact, remarks." Intel says the same. The UK representative reeled out a set of figures and serial numbers which did not match any we have seen. But Clive Turvey, who posted a pile of information at his site on Katmai over the weekend, begged to differ. He said: "Intel really gets my goat! I'm not quite sure what drugs Intel is on but here are a couple of thoughts." Turvey said there was no chance of a remark. "Of what," he asked. "Perhaps my PIII 500 is a remarked PIII 450 and that might explain why it runs at 2.0v and not 1.8v. It runs fine at 500 MHz. It is most definitely not an overclocked PII, the chip that I have does KNI. I can prove this too, in fact it would probably be cheaper to fly out and see it run than buy one yourself <G>" Turvey said: "I did some testing using Intel's Katmai Compiler, and you know what, the FFT (Fast Fourier Transform) program I compiled ran faster when I optimized for a Pentium or Pentium II than it did when it produced Katmai code. It unrolled and vectorized everything into KNI, and while I don't have the numbers in front of me, I seem to think it was several percent SLOWER than the one optimized to use just x87 instructions!!! Perhaps the Emperor hath no clothes?" Turvey has also discovered an internal Intel presentation, which we have posted elsewhere. ®
Mike Magee, 08 Feb 1999
The Register breaking news

Rise chip results leak – and they're not good

Details leaked from Rise Technology demonstrate that its mP6-266 chip is not as fast as first hoped. This will come to a disappointment to PC mobile manufacturers which had hoped to incorporate the chip into their systems. According to test results we have already seen, the Rise core is something of an underperformer at CPU Mark 522, using the Winbench98 test. The FPU mark in the same test amounts to 688. Again, our friends at Chiptech helped us out here, while there is a comparison of the Rise processors at PC One. The latter points to a picture of the die and its size. ®
Mike Magee, 08 Feb 1999
The Register breaking news

WinCE catches up with Palm

Survey 3Com remains the leading vendor of palmtop computers, but Windows CE devices are finally showing signs of catching up. That's the picture of the world palmtop market, according to market researcher Dataquest's 1998 figures, released today. 3Com's Palm Computing subsidiary took 40.1 per cent of the palmtop market in 1998, down from 41.2 per cent in the previous year. Sharp came in at number two, with a 20.8 per cent market share, barely different from the 20 per cent Dataquest recorded in 1997. Psion's market share also fell over the 12-month period, from 16.1 per cent to 13 per cent. Those companies' shares were lost primarily to Philips and NEC, whose shares rose from 2.9 per cent to 4.4 per cent and 0.6 per cent to 4.3 per cent respectively. However, the unit shipment figures tell a slightly different story. The market as a whole grew 61.4 per cent to 3.9 million units. 3Com shipped some 1.6 million Palm devices a just-below-par increase of 57.1 per cent. The big increases came from Windows CE vendors. Sharp some 67.4 per more devices in 1998 over 1997, jumping from 495,000 units to 828,000. Philips sold 177,000 Ninos last year, compared to just 71,000 in 1997, an increase of 150.4 per cent. NEC achieved growth of 1004.5 per cent, as its shipments rose from a measly 15,000 in 1997 to 170,000 last year. Add in HP's rather humdrum figures -- sales went up from 241,000 units to 270,000, an increase of 12.1 per cent; Dataquest blames the company's transition from DOS to Windows CE -- and Dataquest's Others, which includes the likes of Compaq and Casio, also Windows CE vendors, and you find the Windows CE shipments increased almost 80 per cent overall, compared to 57.1 per cent for Palm and 30.9 per cent for Psion. Even knocking down the CE figure a little to account for HP's DOS-based devices sales, and non-CE Others, and it's still some way ahead of Palm's growth. Still, Dataquest warned that the game is far from over for 3Com. It calculated that the majority of the company's sales were to new users, increasing the platform's overall userbase and making it more attractive to ISVs. The researcher based its assumption on the number of new users on the fact that during the period, Palm did little to change one year's offerings from the next's -- so few of the extra sales were upgrades, it reasoned. That contrasts with the introduction of colour screens, more storage capacity and new versions of Windows CE, suggesting, perhaps, that upgrades counted for a greater percentage of CE device sales than Palm sales. ®
Tony Smith, 08 Feb 1999