Intel said its relationship with Microsoft remains strong in spite of its support for Linux and Microsoft's backing of AMD.
The two vendors, once inextricably linked as the WinTel duopoly, continue to collaborate while backing other horses.
At a dinner hosted by Intel and Red Hat at LinuxWorld Expo, for instance, one key Intel executive noted that Intel has had discussions with Red Hat and SUSE Linux about optimizing their Linux distributions for Intel's processors even as it works with Microsoft on a host of other enhancements including virtualization.
"Microsoft doesn't like us working with other software vendors any more than we like Microsoft working with other silicon vendors, but that's been going on," said Will Swope, general manager of Intel's Software and Solutions Group, noting that Linux hasn't changed his relationship with the top brass in Redmond, Wash. "No, not all that much."
He said Microsoft was initially concerned about Intel's plans to end the life of BIOS and develop a firmware interface called Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI). Essentially, the layer starts up the PC's hardware before the operating system begins loading.