Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Microsoft woos new pals in D.C.

Filed under
Microsoft

On Feb. 24, Microsoft Chief Technology Officer Craig Mundie sat in on a "big boys" conference call with the Federal Communications Commission. Others on the line were the chief executives of Time Warner Cable and Comcast and the chairman of the FCC.

Three weeks later, the FCC made a major decision regarding cable set-top boxes that favored Microsoft and the cable companies — and rejected months of lobbying by Intel and others in the computer and electronics industry.

Five years ago, Microsoft would not have been in on such a call and probably would not have prevailed. But the phone conference with the FCC is one result of a carefully crafted strategy, the culmination of years of work by the company to undo damage from its landmark federal antitrust case and make new friends in the nation's capital.

And it needs those friends. As one FCC commissioner put it, Microsoft is back on the "regulatory radar screen."

But, as Mundie said in a recent interview, he's been preparing for this moment for 10 years.

The renewed interest stems from a long-awaited development in technology and entertainment: the arrival of the "age of convergence."

In yesterday's analog world, television programs were delivered on TVs, radio shows on radio. Today's technology has complicated the situation by enabling cable, computers and all manner of electronic devices to deliver the Web, phone service, music, video and other digital content.

As a result, federal oversight in the telecommunications arena is extending into software companies such as Microsoft, and the company has been anticipating the change. Positioning itself for new ventures in telecom and entertainment, Microsoft is crafting tactical alliances with other companies and political power brokers and pushing policy positions on critical telecom issues in D.C.

What's more, its positions and alliances seem to shift with neck-turning speed.

The company is back "in the thick of things" because of convergence, said outgoing FCC Chairman Michael Powell, who added bemusedly that it will be interesting to "watch the coming convergence of lobbying and public positions."

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

An update on Plasma Addons

Since my last blog post on plasma addons there has been a lot of activity, existing contributors are active on their own plasmoids, and there are many new faces coming on to take up the challenge of maintaining their own small part of Plasma. Read more

Motorola frenzy with up to 9 devices possibly launching at ‘Moto Launch Exprience’

We have seen a number of sources revealing upcoming releases and device-launches set for September. However today, we are hearing seriously scary reports that Motorola are set to release EIGHT devices before Christmas. Yes folks, Motorola are about to get extremely serious in terms of the market releasing no less than eight devices over the next few months. Read more

Most popular open-source cloud projects of 2014

At CloudOpen, a Linux Foundation tradeshow held in conjunction with LinuxCon, the Foundation announced that an online survey of open-source cloud professionals found OpenStack to be the most popular overall project. Read more

Walmart's investment in open source isn't cheap

This is not done for the love of humanity. Walmart takes the effort to work in the open because there is a return to be had from that investment. When other companies adopt Hapi, Walmart expects their internal implementations will lead them to improve the code to better suit their needs. Since the majority of these improvements are likely to be integral to the code in the commons, any rational actor will make pull requests attempting to have their work integrated in the project trunk. Of course -- otherwise, the team making the changes would be eternally burdened with the need to refactor and test their changes each time the trunk is updated. Successful pull requests lead to merges that bring the whole community together for the upkeep of the code, not just the developers who originally wrote it. Read more