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. Shame on MapR for Pursuing Software Patents While Pretending to Stand for Free/Open Source Software

    The patents gold rush sees another company joining the 'fun', albeit this company should campaign hard against software patents rather than pursue any



  2. Doomsday Scenario in the Back Mirror as Michelle Lee Keeps Her Job (and Much-Needed Patent Reform) at the USPTO

    The future of patent reform, i.e. tackling overpatenting and patent trolls, looks somewhat more promising with today's confirmation of Lee's 'extended tenure' at the Office



  3. Links 19/1/2017: PulseAudio 10.0, Linux 4.9 Longterm Kernel

    Links for the day



  4. Corporate (Wall Street) Media Agrees That Brexit Dooms the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    The nonstop lies or the fake news about the UPC starting "real soon now" don't quite pass a reality check or a basic assessment based on fundamental concepts, such as the UPC's facilitation of subordination (to Europe) in the United Kingdom



  5. Farce of an 'Independence' for the Boards of Appeal as Another Ally of Benoît Battistelli Enters as Parasite Inside the 'Overseer'/Host

    The latest cluster of lies from the President of the European Patent Office (EPO) and direct refutation of false claims of independence for the Boards of Appeal, where the former Vice-Presidents can flock, just like the Mini Minion (Minnoye) of Battistelli



  6. Links 18/1/2017: Red Hat's OpenShift 3.4, Mozilla's New Logo/Branding

    Links for the day



  7. Union-Busting Action by Team Battistelli Takes Heavy Toll, Techrights Will Continue to Expose EPO Injustices to the World

    The Staff Union of the European Patent Office, SUEPO, which faced unprecedented and probably illegal (based on local laws) attacks, is being weakened by the worst President ever, whose own management team seems to be collapsing along with the institution he is destroying in just a few years



  8. A Lot More Fake News About the UPC, Trying to Convince People That the UK is Ratifying (It's Not, It Cannot)

    Response to some of the latest misleading (self-serving) whispers about the fate of the Unified Patent Court (UPC), which is in a deadlock due to Brexit



  9. Rumours Suggest That EPO Management is Aware of Decline in Patent Quality and is Thus Actively Lying About it to the Media/Public

    Whenever Battistelli brags about patent quality he may be consciously and deliberately lying through his teeth if the latest rumours are correct



  10. Links 17/1/2017: GIMP Plans, New Raspberry Pi Product

    Links for the day



  11. Resumption of EPO Propaganda ('Meet the President') Officially Starts Tomorrow

    Yet another one of these foolish 'Meet the President' stunts, scheduled to take place tomorrow morning



  12. Caricature: Battistelli's New Year's Resolution (More EPO Lies)

    The latest cartoon being circulated within the European Patent Office (EPO)



  13. Donald Trump Gives New Hope to Patent Aggressors and Patent Trolls

    Pessimism about the prospects of patent progress or patent reform in an age of staunchly pro-business Conservatives and glorification of protectionism



  14. More Fake News About the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Based on Lobbying Tactics From Bristows UPC and the Preparatory Committee

    Unified Patent Court (UPC) lobbying has gotten so bad that it now infiltrates general media outlets, where people are asked to just blindly assume that the UPC is coming and is inevitable, even though it's clearly in a limbo and is unlikely to see the light of day



  15. EPO Totally Silent for a Month, But Deep Inside There Are Serious Cracks

    The situation at the EPO seems to be pretty grim, even at the top-level management, and the EPO has gone into permanent silence mode



  16. Links 16/1/2017: Linux 4.10 RC4, Linux Mint 18.1 'Serena' KDE Edition Beta

    Links for the day



  17. 'Financial Director' Publishes Fake News About the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    Response to some of the latest UPC propaganda, which strives to misinform Financial Directors so as to enrich the author and his firm



  18. Independent and Untainted Web Sites About Patents Are Still Few and Rare

    Commentary about news sources that we rely on, as well as the known pitfalls or the vested interests deeply ingrained in them



  19. The 20% Rule: Patent Trolling Suffers Double-Digit Declines and Patent Troll Technicolor is Collapsing

    Significant demise or total catastrophe for the modus operandi (method) of going after companies with a pile of patents and threats of litigation



  20. US Supreme Court Did Not End Apple's Patent Disputes Over Android (Linux), More Cases Imminent

    An overview of some very recent news regarding the highest court in the United States, which has been dealing with cases that can determine the fate of Free/Open Source software in an age of patent uncertainty and patent thickets surrounding mobility



  21. Links 15/1/2017: Switching From OS X to GNU/Linux, Debian 8.7 Released

    Links for the day



  22. Number of New Patent Cases in the US Fell 25% Last Year, Thanks in Part to the Demise of Software Patent Trolls

    Litigation and prosecutions that rely on patents (failure to resolve disputes, e.g. by sharing ideas, out of court) is down very sharply, in part because firms that make nothing at all (just threaten and/or litigate) have been sinking after much-needed reform



  23. America Invents Act Improved Patent Quality, But Right Wingers Threaten to Make It Worse Again

    The past half a decade saw gradual improvement in assessment of patents in the United States, but there is a growing threat and pressure from the patent microcosm to restore patent maximalism and chaos



  24. PTAB -- Not Deterred by Courts -- Continues to Invalidate a Lot of Software Patents

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) continues to make progress reforming the patent system by eliminating a lot of patents and setting an example (or new standards) for what is patent-eligible after Alice



  25. EPO Abuses Come Under Fire From Politicians in Luxembourg

    Luxembourg is the latest nation in which concerns about the EPO's serious abuses are brought up not only by the media but also by politicians



  26. Constitutionality as a Barrier and Brexit Barriers to UPC Keep the Whole Pipe Dream Deadlocked

    The UPC is still going nowhere fast, but the demise (or death) of the UPC as we know it must not be taken for granted



  27. Links 14/1/2017: Wine 2.0 RC5 and AryaLinux 2017 Released

    Links for the day



  28. Links 13/1/2017: Linux 4.9.3 and Linux 4.4.42

    Links for the day



  29. Brexit Means No UPC (Unified Patent Court)

    Now that Jo Johnson, Boris Johnson's brother, is officially declared the new minister for intellectual property in the UK everything that Lucy Neville-Rolfe wrote is as solid as paper bag on a rainy London day



  30. Patent Trolls and Software Patents: CloudTrade, Patent Practitioners Density, and Via Licensing

    Software patents armament from a British company, charted concentration of the patent microcosm in the United States, and US-leaning patent trolls that prey on China


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