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SubjectRe: Linux in Mondays NY Times
Whoops.  I missed the original post on this

> On Wed, 8 Jul 1998, Richard B. Johnson wrote:
> > Worse that that. If you buy any Intel processor since the 8086, US$5.00
> > of the cost is a license fee paid to Micro$haft. Micro$haft claims
> > ownership to the "Intel Architecture", i.e., what used to be called
> > the "IBM-PC/AT". They "purchased" the rights to this design from IBM
> > sometime in the early '70s, waited about 10 years for major developments
> > to be made by Intel and others, then threatened a suit. The settlement
> > was a 5.00 per processor fee to be paid by the end-user.

The IBM-PC/AT design didn't _exist_ in the early 70's, and even if it
did, there's no way that Microsoft would've had enough money at that
time to be buying anything from IBM beyond a matching IBM logo
baseball cap and t-shirt.

More importantly, the 286 processor hardware interface (i.e.: the pins
on the CPU) are a direct progression from Intel's previous processors.
The only person who could've supportably patented that design was
Intel themselves. Of course, the US PTO is famous for getting drunk
off their asses just before they review computer technology patent
applications, so it's entirely possible, but not likely. So barring
Washington, DC beer bashes, the only way that Microsoft could've bought
the 286 architecture patents from IBM is if IBM first bought them from
Intel. IBM certainly had the money, but Intel would've had to have
attended one of those PTO biergartens to be dumb enough to actually
sell it.

All in all, this claim looks like total hokum to me.

Jon Paul Nollmann ne' Darren Senn
Unsolicited commercial email will be archived at $1/byte/day.
"Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise." Proverbs 17:28

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