EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

07.25.08

Microsoft’s Dirty ACPI Secrets: It’s Back! (Updated)

Posted in Antitrust, Bill Gates, GNU/Linux, Hardware, Microsoft, Windows at 2:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Watch this new page, which is already reaching huge levels of circulation.

Complained to the Federal Trade Commission

http://www.ftc.gov

Foxconn
458 E. Lambert Road Fullerton
Fullerton, CA
92835

FOXCONN PHONE NUMBER: 714-871-9968

Company sold me a computer motherboard, model G33M-S, claiming that it was compliant with ACPI versions 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0.

Linux and FreeBSD do not work with this motherboard due to it’s ACPI configuration, using a disassembler program, I have found that it detects Linux specifically and points it to bad DSDT tables, thereby corrupting it’s hardware support, changing this and setting the system to override the BIOS ACPI DSDT tables with a customized version that passes the Windows versions to Linux gives Linux ACPI support stated on the box, I am complaining because I feel this violates an anti-trust provision in the Microsoft settlement, I further believe that Microsoft is giving Foxconn incentives to cripple their motherboards if you try to boot to a non-Windows OS.

We have received your complaint.

Thank you for contacting the FTC. Your complaint has been entered into Consumer Sentinel, a secure online database available to thousands of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies worldwide. Your reference number is:
19642372

[...]

They detect Linux, give it a bad DSDT table, one that looks ok at a glance, but broken in subtle ways so that some of it works, but not correctly.

You call them to ask why their board won’t run Linux.

They tell you to buy Vista.

They’re basically rubbing Microsoft’s back.

Regular readers may have already seen that Microsoft had been exposed for playing dirty tricks with ACPI.

There’s this blast from the past [PDF], courtesy of Comes vs. Microsoft:

From: Bill Gates
Sent: Sunday, January 24, 1999 8:41 AM
To: Jeff Westorinen; Ben Fathi
Cc: Carl Stork (Exchange); Nathan Myhrvold; Eric Rudder
Subject: ACPI extensions

One thing I find myself wondering about is whether we shouldn’t try and make the “ACPI” extensions somehow Windows specific.

It seems unfortunate if we do this work and get our partners to do the work and the results is that Linux works great without having to do the work.

Maybe there is no way to avoid this problem but it does bother me.

Maybe we could define the APIs so that they work well with NT and not
the others even if they are open.

Or maybe we could patent something related to this.

The next few days will be interesting because reactions to the Foxconn story will be everywhere.

Update: There appear to be some skeptics and apologists trying to defend Foxconn. They ought to see this from the high-reliable and always-credible Phoronix.

Foxconn Does Hate Linux Support

[...]
The DSDT for Windows is correct, but Foxconn isn’t interested in issuing a (simple) update to fix the Linux support. However, this isn’t surprising to us. We’ve known that Foxconn does not wish to support Linux at all. Going back to 2006, Foxconn has told us at Phoronix that they aren’t interested in Linux on their motherboards and they have no desire to support it.

This response from Foxconn is ironic too:

You are incorrect in that the motherboard is not ACPI complaint. If it were not, then it would not have received Microsoft Certification for WHQL.

What does the Microsoft Certification say? “The BIOS ain’t done until Linux won’t run”?

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

9 Comments

  1. Yuhong Bao said,

    July 26, 2008 at 1:07 am

    Gravatar

    The difference is this time they are actually doing it, where last time it was just a suggestion.

  2. David Gerard said,

    July 26, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    Gravatar

    Matthew Garrett attributes it to stupidity rather than malice, and says such stupidity is the norm. (He does a ton of work on ACPI in the Linux kernel.)

  3. Alon David said,

    July 26, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    Gravatar

    Hi,

    I have a lenovo 3000 N100 laptop, and after coming back from sleep mode the fans on the motherboard don’t work anymore, i think this is an ACPI issue (i’ve tested this on multiple kernels) but I have no idea on how to investigate it and fix it, can anybody help ?

    Thanks.

  4. Roy Bixler said,

    July 27, 2008 at 11:36 am

    Gravatar

    No doubt that this is really confusing, so it’s an issue ripe for different interpretations. The exhibit from the Comes Iowa anti-trust case just adds fuel to the fire. On the other hand, it does sound reasonable that the vendor just never bothered testing their board with Linux because they have no intention of supporting that.

    My questions would be the following. Why test for an operating system in the code if there is no intention to support it? Why exactly would a hardware vendor explicitly want to exclude an operating system if supporting it would mean more sales for them?

  5. David Gerard said,

    July 27, 2008 at 11:43 am

    Gravatar

    Matthew Garrett explains it as: everyone copy’n’pastes their ACPI code, and so the Linux code there is probably leftover fragments of junk code that are never executed anyway; the manufacturer bodged something together, checked it didn’t actually catch fire running Vista and shipped. (i.e. such stupidity is the norm.) Here’s his full technical writeup as an expert on ACPI code archaeology.

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    July 27, 2008 at 11:49 am

    Gravatar

    What bothers me a lot is that I regularly find people who ditch Linux for something like Vista just because of ACPI. Here is a brand-new example I found just an hour ago:

    http://llynix.com/articles/linux/i-bid-adieu-ubuntu/

    Yesterday I threw in the towel. I’ve been having problems with ACPI on my new Ubuntu partition. I’ve got other small problems but the ACPI ones are really the deal breaker. A laptop that can’t hibernate isn’t much of a laptop. [...] Perhaps the LiveCD of the new version will fair better, for now though I’m taking a break and going back to the slower, more sluggish but more compatible Vista system.

    Whether there was technical sabotage or not, someone ought to start taking Linux support seriously. That memo from Gates ain’t helping. Foxconn’s attitude (watch the conversations with them), is not helping, either.

  7. David Gerard said,

    July 27, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    Gravatar

    From the Linux side, Matthew is the most prominent person doing so. From the hardware side, the trick is how to make hardware people want to actively support Linux working (which is why Matthew got so annoyed at the conspiracy theorising in the Foxconn case, when he sees only the usual blithering stupidity and incompetence. Dell pushing its suppliers for bits that’ll work well in Ubuntu is basically what we need. The suppliers need to want to support Linux.

  8. Roy Bixler said,

    July 27, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    Gravatar

    @David Gerard:

    Thanks for the technical explanation. It seems to confirm what I’ve already heard about ACPI, which is that it’s complex. The answer in a nutshell thusfar seems to be “it’s either a Linux bug or a BIOS bug.” Either way, I hope it’s sorted. Further down in the comments, Ryan (the original person who reported the problem) indicates that Foxconn managers are now willing to work with the Linux ACPI developers. Apparently, they’re not oblivious to the argument that they could sell more boards if they achieve better compatibility.

  9. Roy Schestowitz said,

    July 27, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    Gravatar

    Ditto. Thanks, David, for putting a rational and positive spin on it. You should see what Carla at Linux Today wrote about this incident.

What Else is New


  1. Aurélien Pétiaud's ILO Case (EPO Appeal) an Early Sign That ILO Protects Abusers and Power, Not Workers

    A famous EPO ‘disciplinary’ case is recalled; it’s another one of those EPO-leaning rulings from AT-ILO, which not only praises Battistelli amid very serious abuses but also lies on his behalf, leaving workers with no real access to justice but a mere illusion thereof



  2. LOT Network is a Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

    Another reminder that the "LOT" is a whole lot more than it claims to be and in effect a reinforcer of the status quo



  3. 'Nokification' in Hong Kong and China (PRC)

    Chinese firms that are struggling resort to patent litigation, in effect repeating the same misguided trajectories which became so notorious in Western nations because they act as a form of taxation, discouraging actual innovation



  4. CIPU is Amplifying Misleading Propaganda From the Chamber of Commerce

    Another lobbying event is set up to alarm lawmakers and officials, telling them that the US dropped from first to twelfth using some dodgy yardstick which favours patent extremists



  5. Patent Law Firms That Profit From Software Patent Applications and Lawsuits Still 'Pull a Berkheimer' to Attract Business in Vain

    The Alice-inspired (Supreme Court) 35 U.S.C. § 101 remains unchanged, but the patent microcosm endlessly mentions a months-old decision from a lower court (than the Supreme Court) to 'sell' the impression that everything is changing and software patents have just found their 'teeth' again



  6. A Year After TC Heartland the Patent Microcosm is Trying to 'Dilute' This Supreme Court's Decision or Work Around It

    IAM, Patent Docs, Managing IP and Patently-O want more litigation (especially somewhere like the Eastern District of Texas), so in an effort to twist TC Heartland they latch onto ZTE and BigCommerce cases



  7. Microsoft Attacks the Vulnerable Using Software Patents in Order to Maintain Fear and Give the Perception of Microsoft 'Safety'

    The latest patent lawsuits from Microsoft and its patent trolls (which it financially backs); these are aimed at feeble and vulnerable rivals of Microsoft



  8. Links 19/5/2018: Mesa 18.0.4 and Vim 8.1

    Links for the day



  9. Système Battistelli (ENArque) at the EPO is Inspired by Système Lamy in Saint-Germain-en Laye

    Has the political culture of Battistelli's hometown in France contaminated the governance of the EPO?



  10. In Australia the Productivity Commission Decides/Guides Patent Law

    IP Australia, the patent office of Australia, considers abolishing "innovation patents" but has not done so yet (pending consultation)



  11. Fishy Things Noticed Ahead of the Passage of a Lot of EPO Budget (Applicants' Money) to Battistelli's Other (and Simultaneous) Employer

    Observations and odd facts regarding the affairs of the council in St Germain; it certainly looks like Battistelli as deputy mayor and the mayor (Arnaud Péricard) are attempting to hide something



  12. Links 18/5/2018: AsteroidOS 1.0 Released, More Snyk/Black Duck FUD

    Links for the day



  13. Today's EPO Financially Rewards Abuses and Violations of the Law

    Battistelli shredded the European Patent Convention (EPC) to pieces and he is being rewarded for it, perpetuating a pattern of abuses (and much worse) being rewarded by the European Patent Organisation



  14. So-Called 'System Battistelli' is Destroying the EPO, Warn Insiders

    Low-quality patent grants by the EPO are a road to nowhere but a litigious climate in Europe and an unattractive EPO



  15. Rise in Patent Trolls' Activity in Germany Noted Amid Declining Patent Quality at the EPO

    The UPC would turn Europe into some sort of litigation ‘super-state’ — one in which national patent laws are overridden by some central, immune-from-the-law bureaucracy like the EPO; but thankfully the UPC continues its slow collapse



  16. EPO's Battistelli Taking Days Off Work for Political 'Duties' (Parties) in His French Theatre Where He'll Bring Buckets of EPO Budget (EPO Stakeholders' Money)

    More tales from Saint-Germain-en-Laye...



  17. Links 16/5/2018: Cockpit 168, GCompris 0.91, DHCP Bug

    Links for the day



  18. The EPO's 'Inventor Award' Scam: Part III

    An addendum to the "inventor of the year" affair, namely the case of Remmal



  19. Apple and Microsoft Are Still Suing Companies -- Using Patents of Course -- Which 'Dare' Compete (by Leveraging GNU/Linux)

    The vanity of proprietary software giants — as the latest news serves to reveal — targeting companies with patent lawsuits, both directly and indirectly



  20. The Anti-PTAB (Patent Quality), Anti-§ 101 Lobby is Losing Its Mind and It Has Become Amusing to Observe

    The rants about the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), the courts and even the law itself have reached laughable levels; this reveals that the real agenda of patent maximalists is endless litigation and their methods boil down to those of an angry mob, not legal professionals



  21. EPO Has Become Overzealous About Software Patents, Probably More So Than Almost Anywhere Else

    The promotion of an extreme patent regime in Europe continues unabated; whether it succeeds or not depends on what EPO examiners and citizens of Europe can do



  22. Links 15/5/2018: Black Duck's Latest FUD and the EFF's EFFail FUD Debunked Further

    Links for the day



  23. Xiaomi, Samsung, TCL and Others Demonstrate That in a World With an Abundance of Stupid Patents Like Design Patents Nobody is Safe

    The "Cult of Patents" (typically a cabal of law firms looking to have everything on the planet patented) has created a battlefield in the mobile world; every company, once it gets big enough, faces a lot of patent lawsuits and dying companies resort to using whatever is in their "portfolio" to destroy everyone else inside the courtroom (or demand 'protection' money to avert lawsuits)



  24. A Google-Centric and Google-Led Patent Pool Won't Protect GNU/Linux But Merely 'Normalise' Software Patents

    Patent pools, which are basically the wrong solution to a very clear problem, continue to expand and promote themselves; the real solution, however, is elimination of abstract patents, notably software patents



  25. The Patent Microcosm is Still Looking for Ways to Bypass CAFC/PTAB Invalidation of Many US Patents

    In pursuit of patent maximalism (i.e. a status quo wherein US patents — no matter their age — are presumed valid and beyond scrutiny) pundits resort to new angles or attack vectors, ranging from the bottom (IPRs) to the top (Supreme Court)



  26. Inter Partes Reviews (IPRs) Make the United States a Much Better Place for Innovation and Creation

    Jim Logan of Personal Audio LLC (a patent troll) suffers one final blow and other news of interest serves to show just how valuable IPRs have become in the US



  27. The EPO Has Become Extremely Corrupt and Dishonest

    Corruption at the EPO is becoming an easy-to-see epidemic/problem, even if much of the media turns a blind eye to it (partly because of the corruption that's aimed at controlling media coverage)



  28. Reader's Post: The Last Delusion of Benoît Battistelli Before His Departure on June 30th

    “The last delusion of Battistelli before his departure next June 30″ — an informal article contributed by a Techrights reader



  29. It Doesn't Take a Genius to See That Microsoft Still Attacks GNU/Linux With Patents to Make Billions of Dollars in 'Protection' Money

    Intellectual Ventures, Finjan, RPX, and other Microsoft-connected trolls cannot be countered by LOT Network and the likes of it (notably OIN); Microsoft continues to shrewdly distribute patents to trolls, offering 'protection' from them (for a fee) and pressuring OEMs to bundle Microsoft 'apps' or risk retaliatory patent lawsuitsIntellectual Ventures, Finjan, RPX, and other Microsoft-connected trolls cannot be countered by LOT Network and the likes of it (notably OIN); Microsoft continues to shrewdly distribute patents to trolls, offering 'protection' from them (for a fee) and pressuring OEMs to bundle Microsoft 'apps' or risk retaliatory patent lawsuits



  30. A Sham and a Scam: How Patent Extremists Continue to Promote a Mohawks and Allergan Ploy Against PTAB, Even After Oil States

    Watchtroll carries on promoting the 'case' of Allergan, which is grossly misusing tribal immunity to protect dodgy patents that it uses to deny access to medicine


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts