Intel sidelined by peer group

A peer-to-peer (P2P) working group has elected a non-Intel chairman amid concerns about its domination by the chip giant.

A peer-to-peer (P2P) working group has elected a non-Intel chairman amid concerns about its domination by the chip giant.

Will Garside

The group of 40 companies has elected Brian Morrow, chief executive of P2P specialist Endeavors, to head its steering group.

The group, which plans to hammer out standards for interoperability, application development, network management and security, elected Morrow in place of rival Intel candidate and group founder Bob Knighten. Knighten, who directs peer-to-peer architecture in Intel's microprocessor research lab, will chair the group's technical architecture council instead.

Included in the group, which has grown by 13 members since its last meeting in October, are IBM, HP and JD Edwards. It is currently considering four detailed architecture proposals even though its membership does not include major IT vendors such as Microsoft, Novell and Sun.

Richard Koman, managing editor at publisher O'Reilly Associates, which recently joined the group, said, "Ourselves and several other members have had concerns about the working group's direction. By electing a chair that is not an Intel employee, we have a chance to prove its legitimacy. The membership is still lacking key industry players, which we need to attract to move forward."

New chairman Morrow commented, "There are big players who want to control the P2P movement through their existing market dominance. There is a desire to play God, which is not good for the industry." In statement, defeated candidate Knighten said that the diversity of the group's membership would be good for the industry.

Intel spokesmen, Daven Oswart added, "I think we will see more companies joining the group and we've welcomed all companies to join."

Oswart refused to say whether Microsoft, Sun or Novell had been directly invited by Intel to join the group. However, he did add that staff from these companies had informally attended its open meetings in the past. Microsoft, Sun and Novell, all highly active in the P2P space, have yet to make any formal announcements about joining.

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