WinInfo Daily Update, April 17, 2006:

AMD Seeks Microsoft Documents for Intel Antitrust Case

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In the News

- AMD Seeks Microsoft Documents for Intel Antitrust Case
- China's President to Stop at Microsoft Before White House Visit
- Addendum: Windows Vista Product Guide Pulled ... Again

by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

AMD Seeks Microsoft Documents for Intel Antitrust Case

Microprocessor maker AMD sent a subpoena to Microsoft last Thursday, asking the software giant to provide evidence for AMD's antitrust case against microprocessor market leader Intel. AMD says it asked Microsoft to provide documents related to Microsoft's support for AMD and Intel 64-bit processors, Intel's responses to Microsoft's collaboration with AMD, and any internal Microsoft documentation about the software giant's take on AMD's financial viability.

Since Microsoft was on AMD's original list of 32 companies that would receive subpoenas in the case, the request wasn't a surprise. "We anticipate that both sides will be seeking documents and other evidence from Microsoft and many other participants in the PC industry," a Microsoft spokesperson said. "We will work with the parties in this case to respond to reasonable requests for documents and information."

AMD originally sued Intel in June 2005, accusing the company of illegally maintaining its microprocessor monopoly by using exclusionary business tactics that prevent Intel's customers from doing business with AMD. AMD has also said it's issuing subpoenas to retailers such as Best Buy and Circuit City as well as to PC makers Dell and HP.

China's President to Stop at Microsoft Before White House Visit

Chinese President Hu Jintao is visiting the United States this week, but his first stop isn't a state dinner at the White House. Instead, Hu will first dine with Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and tour one of Boeing's aircraft factories. Both Microsoft and Boeing are located in the Seattle area.

Mr. Hu's visit is designed largely to offset American fears that China will soon eclipse US economic might worldwide. With 1.3 billion people, China is the fastest-growing consumer market on the planet, thanks to state-sponsored programs aimed at modernizing urban areas at an unprecedented pace. The country is a study in contrasts: Cities such as Beijing and Shanghai are among the most modern in the world, while western rural regions of the country are almost medieval in their simplicity.

Although some US companies have found great success in China, Microsoft isn't one of them. Its software is routinely pirated there, and the government has done little until recently to combat the problem. However, US officials say there has been a shift in policy toward protecting intellectual property rights in China in recent months. And in March, the Chinese government required all China-based PC makers to install OSs on their PCs before shipping, ensuring that customers will have to legally buy the software as part of the system purchase.

As for the Gates dinner, it's unclear what the two icons will discuss. Certainly there are plenty of potential topics: Software piracy, jobs outsourcing, research labs and other Chinese investments, and Gates's philanthropic work round out some of the obvious choices.

Addendum: Windows Vista Product Guide Pulled ... Again

Last week, I reported that Microsoft had required Fred Pullen to remove his download of the Windows Vista Product Guide, and then later noted that it was reposted, this time at the blog of Microsoft TechNet Presenter Keith Combs. Well, it's been pulled again. Microsoft tells me that it will officially release the final version of the Windows Vista Product Guide after it has shipped Windows Vista Beta 2, Release Candidate 0 (RC0). Since this milestone will occur in late May at Microsoft Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) 2006 in Seattle, perhaps we'll see the guide at that time.

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