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Monday, March 01, 2004, 10:00 am PT (01:00 pm ET)

Microsoft firing fueled by XBox 2 secrecy?

In October, Microsoft fired an employee for his blog posting titled, Even Microsoft wants G5s, which includes photos of the delivery of three palettes of Dual 2.0Ghz Power Mac G5s to Microsoft's Redmond Campus. While many were shocked at Microsoft's retaliation to the innocuous web posting, employees reportedly signed a contract containing at least one clause prohibiting photography on the Microsoft campus.

At the time, sources reported that the rather large Power Mac shipment was destined not for the Mac Business unit or Microsoft graphics department, but rather for the XBox 2 development team. A report in today's Inquirer appears to lend some credence to the rumor, stating that the newly released XBox 2 Software Developers Kit (SDK) has been seeded to developers on dual Apple Power Mac G5 systems running a custom Windows NT Kernel.

According to the publication, "the Apple Power Mac G5 is based upon two of IBM’s 64-bit Power PC processors and features ATi RADEON 9800 Pro (R350) graphics. However the R350 is believed to be an interim solution and will, in due course, be superseded by the forthcoming ATI R420."