The U.S. government is expanding its probe of Microsoft Corporation to determine whether the company forced Intel Corporation to drop competitive product plans. Apparently, Microsoft and Intel executives met in August 1995 and Microsoft CEO Bill Gates made "vague threats" about supporting Intel's competitors if Intel proceeded with its plans. News of the meeting comes from an Intel memo that was leaked to the New York Times this week.
According to the memo, Gates was livid about Intel's "investments in the Internet, and wanted them stopped." Specifically, Gates wanted Intel to cease software development at its Intel Architecture Labs (IAL), or he threatened to spend over $100 million to train engineers to develop and service Windows NT on microprocessors made by (Intel competitors) Alpha and PowerPC.
"Gates didn't want IAL's 750 engineers interfering with his plans for domination of the PC industry," the memo reads. "Gates made vague threats about support for other platforms, and on the same day he announced a major program to support the Alpha microprocessor made by Digital Equipment, an Intel competitor. Gates was livid about IAL's investments in the Internet, and he wanted them stopped."
Gates was also concerned about Intel's development of Native Signal Processing (NSP), which was a multimedia software that would compete with Microsoft's then-upcoming DirectX software