..and it would help their competitors if Intel used its massive resources on optimizing Gallium3D infrastructure....
That would help Intel, not so competitiors. "Competitors" introduced Gallium first, mind you. Given limited manpower, it is stupid to build walled gardens in graphics stack. This is definately the most negative point about Intel drivers.
Intel should use Gallium, there is simply no excuse not using it, except NIH. Even rewriting it from scratch is time worthy! It would steamline the Kernel and Xorg.
Its not a matter of NIH, the devs have said many times that the only reason they didn't move to Gallium was because they had spent so much time optimizing the classic driver already that they didnt want all that work to be for nothing. They were very happy with the classic driver they had written and decided to stick with it
Looking at their reactions, they're really annoyed by this "toy" driver, and did all they could to shoot it down. We'll see where it goes from there, but certainly Intel looks more interested in their competitive advantage than benefiting the entire Linux ecosystem.
Now that Mesa has merged the Gallium driver for Intel hardware into mainline, what does this mean for distributions?
Will users of Intel graphics hardware now use the Gallium3D drivers by default, or will the classic DRI driver still serve as the defaultdriver? Also, if both the Gallium3D and classic DRI drivers are now in mainline, will there be an easy option for users to switch 'on the fly' between Gallium and DRI, either via a text command (like, modprobe -r <intel DRI driver> and modprobe <intel Gallium3D driver>) or a graphical interface?