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Balmer Vows to Kill Google 766 766

An anonymous reader writes "Probably due to the Microsoft suit against Google over human resources, some very heated exchanges have turned up in some court documents. Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer has apparently vowed to kill Internet search leader Google, according to documents filed in the increasingly bitter battle between the rivals." From the article: "At some point in the conversation, Mr. Ballmer said: 'Just tell me it's not Google,'' Lucovosky said in his statement. Lucovosky replied that he was joining Google. 'At that point, Mr. Ballmer picked up a chair and threw it across the room hitting a table in his office,' Lucovosky recounted, adding that Ballmer then launched into a tirade about Google CEO Eric Schmidt. 'I'm going to f***ing bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I'm going to f***ing kill Google.' Schmidt previously worked for Sun Microsystems and was the CEO of Novell."
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Balmer Vows to Kill Google

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  • by FudRucker (866063) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:09AM (#13469684)
    RE:["Ballmer then launched into a tirade about Google CEO Eric Schmidt. 'I'm going to f***ing bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I'm going to f***ing kill Google.' Schmidt previously worked for Sun Microsystems and was the CEO of Novell."]
    what an immature neanderthal...
  • by Aim Here (765712) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:15AM (#13469727)
    Sworn testimony in a court case is usually considered 'evidence'.

    Hope this helps.

  • by BWJones (18351) * on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:17AM (#13469734) Homepage Journal
    He looks a bit like Tony Soprano on that article's picture, this is truly scary.I kind of half imagine him like Scarface at the end of the Pacino movie.

    Hardly. This is the sort of crap that you expect from the overly indulged geek who becomes CEO or from the jock CEO. Look, anytime somebody exhibits this sort of behavior, there is something fundamentally wrong with their character. I've had a boss in the past that pulled this kind of crap on me and I simply told him that it would not be acceptable behavior and I would not tolerate it. I then walked out of the room treating him like the child he was. The guy leaving for Google made the right decision.

  • by justforaday (560408) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:17AM (#13469735)
    Shit man, I know I don't act that immature at my very worst. Maybe you get like that. You should try to limit the scope of your "just people like us" comments, because not everyone's like that (thank god!).
  • by ScentCone (795499) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:19AM (#13469745)
    Steve Jobs was right ... Steve Jobs was right

    Oh, please. Check with people at Apple or Pixar and ask if Jobs has ever had a maximum-flake-factor freaky tirade in their own personal cubicle before. Don't let the sandals fool you. He's no paragon of zen-like level headedness when confronted with contrary news, uppity employees, or a marketplace that doesn't always see things his way.
  • by Dr. Evil (3501) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:30AM (#13469793)

    I worked for one of these guys, I'd rather the icy monster any day.

    This kind of explosion reeks of a fellow who feels indestructable in his current position. Breaking out in a violent, destructive rage in the office is not normal, even for these guys.

    Just think of his assistant who has to go in afterwards, brief him about his next meetings then contact facilities to send somebody to fix the wall and replace the chair.

    I feel for them, not the multimilliondollar exec throwing a tantrum like a four year old.

    Besides, a tantrum like that would really make me glad I'm leaving.

  • by drsquare (530038) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:30AM (#13469794)
    At least he's passionate about his job. That's more than you can say about a lot of executives. What's wrong with wanting to crush the competition? That's what capitalism's all about.
  • Wow... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jugalator (259273) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:32AM (#13469797) Journal
    I was shocked to see this was actually not a The Onion article like last time.

    That monkey dancer never cease to amaze me.
  • Call the FBI (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Ice Station Zebra (18124) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:32AM (#13469798) Homepage Journal
    He made a death threat against everyone at Google. He should be in jail.
  • Why kill? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by miffo.swe (547642) <daniel.hedblom@noSPAm.gmail.com> on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:40AM (#13469824) Homepage Journal
    I dont understand why its so important for Microsoft to kill any competition. If they succeed in creating a bigger market they still earn more money even with lots of competitors. Is Microsoft really nothing more than a wanking session for two really pathetic men? One would have thought they would have matured by now and start to think about what they leave after they die. Why not start doing good things for computing for a change? MS has been the biggest roadblock in software evolution to date and nothing can change that if Microsoft doesnt start to behaive like grownups.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:41AM (#13469831)
    >At least he's passionate about his job.
    > That's more than you can say about a lot of
    >executives. What's wrong with wanting to crush
    >the competition?

    Uhh, being passionate is a relative thing.
    Being passionate about creating new art is
    a good thing. Being passionate about being
    a serial killer is a bad thing.

    Being passionate as a thug I would argue
    is not a good thing. Please keep in mind
    that the goal of a businessman is to do
    business, not to throw chairs around
    a room, nor to threaten an individual
    with bodily harm. That kind of behavior
    is simply childish and unprofessional.

    A professional would have looked at the
    situation and thought how to improve his
    business. Ballmer did neither.

    --Johnny
    P.s. Tell Monkeyboy keep up the good
    work and show us what good leadership
    is all about.
  • by rocjoe71 (545053) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:42AM (#13469835) Homepage
    You know, CEOs of many companies feel a similar way towards their competition. Passive, happy-go-lucky people do not wind up being CEOs of anything. He's not an ordinary person.

    To understand more about CEO's rent "Gorillas in the Mist" and pay close attention to the silverback male.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:50AM (#13469868)
    Capitalism ain't about "crush'n the competition". It's all about making money.
  • by mcc (14761) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:50AM (#13469869) Homepage
    Microsoft can't coexist with anyone. To them, "the competition" is anyone in the computer industry who is making money or gaining power who is not them. You cannot possibly say MSN search or, say, microsoft netmeeting were serious products Microsoft cared about or which were serious competitors to google or skype when they started up; you cannot possibly say the appearance of skype or google threatened any product that Microsoft was even meaningfully supporting. Yet skype and google gain mindshare, and suddenly making the "google killer" or the "skype killer" become huge priorities. Or at the other end of things, Microsoft ignored Adobe for years as long as they were powerless, profitable but consigned to a "niche", predictable; but suddenly Adobe starts having influence on popular file formats in the form of PDF (invented) or Flash (bought), starts showing signs of growth, and suddenly it becomes absolutely essential for some reason that Microsoft create a PDF Killer.

    Microsoft keeps demonstrating, again and again, that they believe no one may have power but them, and keep killing companies to attain that goal. And people just keep pretending this is somehow good for the market, because the idea that market forces could lead to something other than the perfect outcome is just something some people just don't want to admit could happen.

    But this is hurting the market, in the most direct way possible: Microsoft's expansion strategy is based not on finding the next big thing, but on stopping it before it starts.

    Supposedly the computer industry lives and thrives on small discoveries that grow to the "next big thing". You know, the proverbial cliche of the startup in somebody's garage, a new way of looking at things, an idea that could change the world, yadda yadda yadda. But more and more the fact is-- and most people see this-- if you find that brilliant idea, if you sweat and pour your life and blood and tears into making the new next greatest thing, ... then the first thing that happens is the most powerful company in all of software suddenly has it as priority number one to take you out, duplicate your product and give it away for free, subsume your functionality into the OS, etc. They won't always succeed at this, but they have at least the ability to make your life and job very difficult without even breaking a sweat. And it has been demonstrated that even in the most flagrant case of destructive behavior, even if they are tried and convicted of illegal acts, there will be no consequences for them.

    What is the point of trying to build, or finance something revolutionary like Skype, if you know that whatever it is (even if it isn't something Microsoft does yet) Success will just result in Microsoft signing a corporate death warrant? The answer is obviously "because you love what you are doing", but what about the people who don't love what they're doing enough to take the risk of so much wasted effort? Are there people who would be going out and doing new and interesting things they aren't doing now in a world where trying to change the face of computing is rewarded rather than punished? What kind of chilling effect is this having?
  • by miffo.swe (547642) <daniel.hedblom@noSPAm.gmail.com> on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:51AM (#13469872) Homepage Journal
    You cant really mix passionate with completely mad. Wanting to crush the competition is not sane since the goal is to make money, not kill everybody else. If your goal is to crush your competition regardless if you make more money on it you are way off.

    Capitalism is about healthy competition that follows rules. When coorporations compete on common ground it drives prices down and quality up and fosters innovation. I have never ever read about how capitalism is supposed to foster killing competitors with legal tactics, bribes and by using illegal or shoddy business deals. You probably mistake capitalism for anarchy.
  • It Goes Both Ways (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Comatose51 (687974) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:58AM (#13469902) Homepage
    'I'm going to f***ing bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I'm going to f***ing kill Google.' Schmidt previously worked for Sun Microsystems and was the CEO of Novell."

    You know Schmidy is just harboring some serious grudge against MS right now. If Balmer thinks he's the only one with the motivation to compete, he doesn't know what it's like to be driven vengenance. Schmidt is like the underdog who've been kicked around and have finally made his break. We all know how those stories end.

  • by NigelJohnstone (242811) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @09:03AM (#13469918)
    Next time Microsoft gets sued and pretends it has destroyed the emails, they should point to this incident as an example of how they find emails when they want to - even deleted emails on a local PC.
  • Chomsky's wrong... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Svartalf (2997) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @09:05AM (#13469924) Homepage
    Sure, it's the system. The problem with that argument is that it takes the people who put the system into place out of the whole discussion. Doing so, you neglect that it's the people who institute the system and the ones that execute it that make it even exist. Doing so, it makes it seem that the system is the problem, not the people- but then, look at what happened in WWII... The system's the one that set up the scenerio for the horrific acts performed- why didn't we blame the system? Oh, that's right, following orders doesn't count in that- just as the people who instituted the system was guilty of the acts.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 03, 2005 @09:08AM (#13469935)
    well enough to detroy it. For me, their nice clean interface (no flash, huge graphic files, or other unrelated material) make them a perfect home page. They load super fast and get me the results I want. I don't think anyone can beat that, because it is EXACTLY what I want.
    I will visit other sites from time to time, but I always want to start like that. Yahoo used to be close enough, but they morphed into the typical bloated mess that other high profile web sites have become.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 03, 2005 @09:09AM (#13469937)
    You have to ask -- what's wrong with passion for crushing the competition? Well, are you doing it from an 'everything for me, nothing for anyone else' point of view?

    I was once in an 'area meeting' (called by a fourth line manager) where he got up and said how we were gonna crush the competition so bad, we were going to stop them from sending their children to good colleges.

    Uh, sure -- can we take food off baby's plate too?

    If this passes for rational in Capitalist America -- I'm ready to pack my bags for Soviet Cuba.

    PS: 'nothing for anyone else' above is a quote from the Wealth of Nations, as in (paraphrase) "Throughout history, everything for us and nothing for anyone else has been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind". Are the 'masters of mankind' your Randian heroes? I suggest you go lick boot before they decide to arbitrarily crush you too,
  • by amichalo (132545) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @09:09AM (#13469938)
    Investors should take note of these types of situations.

    While we all think it funny, it offers insight into the emotional response of the CEO of the world's largest software company. It shows his a weakness, that he is personally threatened by Google, and a despiration, that he feels Google just one upped him. There is a difference between being passionate about your products and being threatened by your market mates.

    Is this the type of personality you would want running the company your 401(k) was invested in? Your retirement future, child's education, or second house at the lake, all riding on the ability of a short tempered reactionist who would scream and shout and create a personal vendetta not only aginst a competitor, but CEO-to-CEO?

    In many cases the CEO is a significant reason to invest in a company - that's why there are such massive stock sell offs or buy ins when leadership changes (look at HP recently as an example or further back to Chrysler, GM, etc).

    I'd rather invest in a company who's CEO is headstrong and confident enough to try to innovate their competition our of existance, not temper tantrem their CEO to death.
  • by TGK (262438) <.Killfile. .at. .Nephandus.Com.> on Saturday September 03, 2005 @09:10AM (#13469943) Homepage Journal
    Quite frankly, I keep waiting for him to address the UN. Maybe use some footwear to make his point.

    Look at these two guys

    Balmer [suzansworld.com]
    Khrushchev [jfk.org]

    He's always kind of reminded me of Khrushchev, but threatening to bury Google.... it's just a little to Warsaw pact, even for my tastes.
  • by Adult film producer (866485) <van@i2pmail.org> on Saturday September 03, 2005 @09:17AM (#13469961)
    Uhm, he's a friggen captain in the microsoft mafioso.. I'm pretty sure he can throw whatever chair he wants..
  • by no-body (127863) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @09:17AM (#13469962)
    Give the guy a break. He's got a high pressure job.

    Nobody forces him to do this job. He sure got enough cash to live comfortably several life times on it.

    But that's not what this is about. It is dominating others, succeeding with manipulation and violence - compulsively, for decades. Does he have a choice? Probably not - regrettably.

    Throwing chairs and tantrums is abusive behavior. You seem to tolerate this kind of behavior as "human". I think, it's not yet quite human.

  • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @09:25AM (#13469980)
    And, actually, wanting to crush competition is not what capitalism is all about. The idea that competitors need to be crushed instead of, well, competed with is largely what is wrong with capitalism today. It is also precisely what is wrong with Microsoft.
  • by gallondr00nk (868673) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @09:37AM (#13470030)
    I think you're describing the ideology of capitalism, rather than capitalism in practice. Innovation is no longer fostered by capitalism, it is capped. With the rise of DRM, propriatory solutions, closed standards, cheap 3rd world labour and large scale downsizing the idea of capitalism has changed to *maintaining* an advantage, rather then innovating it. Development hasn't given momentum to corporate profit in 10 years. It's control of a current market, pure and simple. Give any corporation the chance to monopolise the industry and they will. Consumers gain nothing out of the current situation.
  • by leonmergen (807379) * <lmergen@@@gmail...com> on Saturday September 03, 2005 @09:42AM (#13470049) Homepage

    Unfortunatly, what the people in charge of big corporations say and do isnt scrutinised as much by the press as much as they should be considering the political power they posess

    That's because the CEO's and the like aren't elected like political leaders, but are rather assigned. If you look at it objectively, a company's structure is far more similar to a dictatorship than a democracy ( which is a good thing ), which probably allows the people in charge of those companies to have more freedom in what they say and what they do without being criticized.

    Just my $0.02...

  • by Arcturax (454188) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @09:42AM (#13470051)
    Zonk isn't a man, it's an AI. And he's getting tired of doing nothing but posting articles and will probably go rampant soon.

    Seriously, who cares, at least we are getting articles, but then I guess people have to bitch about someone since Michael's been gone.

    Back to the topic... Whether these allegations are true or not, it's pretty obvious that Microsoft as a whole is beginning to thrash. They used to point at an industry or niche and say, "We're going in" and owned it withing a year.

    But lately their history is littered with failed attempts to get into markets. The problem is, they keep trying to put as many fingers in as many pies as they can at once instead of focusing on what they really are, an OS, networking software, and Office Suite company.

    Gee, let's take over digital music. Failed, they got owned by Apple.

    Gee let's take over video. Again owned, MPEG-4 is the standard and players like VLC are used instead of Microsofts whenever possible.

    Gee let's take over search. You guessed it, owned by Google, who focus on their market, search and advertising. Though Google is spreading out into other areas, which could be troublesome for them in the future, they are at least keeping these areas focused on search. In the case of Google Mail, their search technology is the centerpiece of the offering, well that and an assload of mail storage.

    So the real problem is, Microsoft is so busy trying to be everything, trying to compete and crush everyone, that they are lagging in their core buisiness areas. That is why Office is being replaced by Open Office now. That is why Apple is poised to steal the OS market from them, should they decide to make that leap. That is why Linux is taking away their server markets, and Apache is eating into their webservr markets. Microsoft is too busy spinning around in circles to focus on what they once did best, and it's only a matter of time now before they screw themselves into the ground.
  • by jallen02 (124384) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @09:48AM (#13470072) Homepage Journal
    There really is only one difference between your situation and theirs. They are Microsoft. Let me clarify what that means a little. BillG has more money than the bottom half of America. They have billions and billions of dollars and can wage this kind of war so long it is ridiculous.

    Jeremy
  • by jcr (53032) <jcr AT mac DOT com> on Saturday September 03, 2005 @09:59AM (#13470127) Journal
    Give the guy a break.

    You know, I'd be a lot more sympathetic towards the Sweaty One, if he wasn't so... What's the word? Oh, yeah: culpable.

    -jcr

  • by SparafucileMan (544171) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @10:05AM (#13470149)
    the purpose of competing with someone is to win, not loose. crushing someone is just competing very well. there's nothing wrong with capitalism here---what, you think you can turn it into a lovey dovey flowers and bunnies sort of thing?
  • Re:Why kill? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jcr (53032) <jcr AT mac DOT com> on Saturday September 03, 2005 @10:09AM (#13470169) Journal
    I dont understand why its so important for Microsoft to kill any competition.

    It's probably because they're intensely aware of the mediocrity of their products. The only validation they can get is market share, so they fight tooth an nail against any potential threat to that market share. Witness in particular the way they torpedoed Netscape, and made damn sure that BeOS couldn't make any OEM deals.

    -jcr
  • by wfberg (24378) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @10:20AM (#13470226)
    But in a essence, markets are about anarchy, markets are about killing competitors, in a way that's allowed by authorities, and it's all good and dandy.

    But how do you go about determining what should be allowed by authorities, if you have zero framework for reference other than "greed is good"? (and dandy).

    You see, there are reasons, which I won't repeat here, why really big companies with monopoly powers can't "abuse" those powers. Under "greed is good"/AynRand-esque theories a company can never abuse its position in any way, because if it works out good for the company, it's good, if it works out bad for the company, it's good for other people (no matter who gets killed in the process) - there is no referential framework of things like "the greater good".
  • Re:Call the FBI (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tango42 (662363) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @10:28AM (#13470266)
    No, he said he'd kill Google, not the people at Google. Big difference. A company is an entity independent of its employees.
  • question (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BlackShirt (690851) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @10:29AM (#13470274) Journal
    did he say these words? As long as Lucovosky says so.

    things could turn more complicated when balmer would deny it. there's no way to tell. it has been a person to person concersation. truth is out there.
  • austaralian paper? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by abonstu (682723) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @10:34AM (#13470302)
    why is it that so often /. 'news' turns up in an australian paper? yes im an australian, and im just curious...
    is it because aussie papers are being written as US papers sleep?
    is it because US papers simply dont want to report this stuff?
    is it because US papers dont want to rock the boat?

    i dont know... but it seems to me the SMH gets mentioned *alot* - make me wonder why.

  • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Saturday September 03, 2005 @10:35AM (#13470307)
    Our current government is "pro-Business" rather than "pro-Market".

    Being pro-Business means that you pass laws designed to protect the revenue streams of businesses (copyright extensions, DMCA, patents on "business methods", etc).

    Being pro-Market means that you pass laws designed to facilitate competition in a market and curb the excesses of existing companies.
  • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @10:45AM (#13470355)
    Crushing competition, in the Microsoft sense, means using virtually any means to eliminate said competition. According to the Federal court that deemed Microsoft an illegal monopolist, that includes illegal tactics, and lots of them. That is not capitalism, that is not a free market, and in the long run we lose. If you'd been in the personal computer business since its inception (like I have) you'd have some awareness of the staggering number of ideas, technologies and products that Microsoft either suppressed or stole outright. And I have no doubt that there are thousands more that we'll never know about. If that's capitalism in action I'll take vanilla, thank you very much.

    And no, I don't think you understand what capitalism is truly about. In pretty much all marketplaces there is room for more than one supplier of goods and services. Certainly that is the case with operating systems and office suites. And no reasonable person would have a problem with a corporation "crushing" its competition by providing a quality product, since it would be the consumer's choice to, in effect, grant a near-monopoly to that company. And when the value of that monopoly's product falls off and someone else becomes top dog for a while ... hey, now that's capitalism, market-driven all the way. But that's a far cry from what Microsoft has been doing.

    Really, that view of the business world is fundamentally incompatible with Gates & Ballmer's. Their idea of successful competition is the wholly-unenlightened approach of ruthlessly suppressing or eliminating anything that is or might become a threat to Microsoft's hegemony. That's the history of that company, much of which was brought out during the antitrust trial (read up on the "Microsoft tax" and some of the interesting contracts Microsoft forced on the big hardware makers to keep competing OSes out of the picture.)

    Actually, I would have to say that Microsoft's way of doing "business" is really more in line with Chinese or even Japanese methodologies than those of traditional American or European businesses. I was watching a TLC program (I think it was TLC) that showed a business strategy meeting from some unnamed large Japanese manufacturer. It was run along near-military lines, and was full of terms like "englobement", "encirclement", "cutting supply lines" and "choking off their air." I found it very interesting, since it was all aimed at removing some competitor from existence (they didn't say who.) I'd like to be a fly on the wall at some of Gates' strategy meetings. I suspect he learned a thing or two from the Japanese.
  • by miffo.swe (547642) <daniel.hedblom@noSPAm.gmail.com> on Saturday September 03, 2005 @10:48AM (#13470370) Homepage Journal
    I differ from you in that i havent given up yet. Its my obligation to make the world better, not just follow the stream. If "part of a corporation IS the legal tactics, the bribes, and illegality" then its high time the shit gets fixed ASAP if were not about to leave our children their future in a doggy bag.

  • by BWJones (18351) * on Saturday September 03, 2005 @11:13AM (#13470485) Homepage Journal
    he's the CEO of what the most powerful company on earth, give or take?. he can do whatever the fuck he wants. if he does something oh so terrible, tell the board and let them fire him. otherwise, you just sound like a snively little brat cause you can't handle people shouting or getting angry.

    Have some more respect for yourself. If you cannot deal with people without resorting to childish antics then I simply don't want to work with you. I try and surround myself with employees and students who are capable of mature communication, who are smarter than me, and who have strong work ethics. That is the way you create great stuff that has class and does what it was designed to do.

  • by Anm (18575) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @11:28AM (#13470552)
    The problem with today's captialism is the complacency of the consumer. Capitalism requires intelligent consumers to understand the pros and cons of every purchase. When consumers don't care that they are getting less for their money and are loosing control, then we get companies selling "DRM, propriatory solutions, and closed standards". Additionally, companies can appear to cheaper than open solutions because they know they've locked in future revenue streams.

    Regarding "cheap 3rd world labour and large scale downsizing", these are choices of efficency implicitly promoted by capitalism. If the I can get the same labor so cheap it offsets the costs of additionaly shipping, it is in my benefit and it is in the benefit of those who can prvide teh labor. Remember, compared to many other jobs in these places they are well paying. Again, only intelligent consumers can influence the market to encourage the market to maintain good working conditions in these places. The same go for local jobs: if I care about how companies treat their employees and want to ensure fair treatment and benefits (e.g., avoid large scale downsizing), I have to support/purchase fromonly those companies that meet my values.

    Anm
  • by dubl-u (51156) * <2523987012@po t a . to> on Saturday September 03, 2005 @11:40AM (#13470605)
    f you look at it objectively, a company's structure is far more similar to a dictatorship than a democracy ( which is a good thing )

    Is it? It seems like one of the lessons the fall of the Soviet Union is that centrally controlled, top-down planning is much less effective than solutions mediated through marketplaces filled with independent actors. But most big corporations seem to be run like totalitarian states.

    It's not that I'm advocating some sort of corporate democracy. But it's a little weird to me that so many corporate leaders seem to think that capitalism is a great thing, but only for other people.
  • by dubl-u (51156) * <2523987012@po t a . to> on Saturday September 03, 2005 @11:46AM (#13470636)
    There may be times where it seems like the difference between a passionate genius and a dangerous madman is thin and difficult to place. The thing is though. They really are two different things, and it matters which one that someone is.

    That's a bold assertion. Have any proof?

    I know smart, passionate people who are perfectly nice. As far as I'm concerned, people who can't control their aggression and desire for dominance need therapy and medication. Jobs behaves exactly like a lot of cult leaders (and some would say "other cult leaders"). I'm glad that he makes cool stuff, but he's still an asshole who makes cool stuff. It would be better if he were a good person who made cool stuff.
  • by Lifewish (724999) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @11:49AM (#13470658) Homepage Journal
    How can something be both a lie and an accurate representation at the same time?

    If I say "The moon is made of cheese" and you say "I've just heard from Lifewish: the moon is made of cheese", then your statement is a lie (the moon is not made of cheese) but is an accurate representation of what I said.

    I suppose I shouldn't expect much from a guy who admits he's an idiot on his own website, but really.

    Hey, I figure that if I get it out in the open now it'll save time later...
  • Re:Why kill? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Reziac (43301) * on Saturday September 03, 2005 @12:08PM (#13470750) Homepage Journal
    Because some people cannot be "winners" unless they make everyone else into losers.

    Ballmer has often displayed that attitude.

  • Re:Why kill? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Lord Raze (533857) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @12:08PM (#13470754) Homepage
    One would have thought they would have matured by now and start to think about what they leave after they die. Why not start doing good things for computing for a change?
    Evil never believes it is evil. Evil usually believes itself to be righteous, and it's enemies to be evil.

    Microsoft is trying to Save Us From Ourselves. Their vision -- I shit you not, they've actually published this -- is that every computer, and every non-computer device, runs Windows, so they can all talk to each other. They want you to be able to right-click the "My Coffee Machine" icon on your desktop and select "Start Brewing" from the context menu. Seriously.

    Therefore, Google, one of the few Serious Threats to Microsoft, is a monkeywrench in that particular plan, so Balmer really does hate them. They're trying to disrupt Microsoft's plans to impose it's architechture on the rest of ITdom, and therefore they are evil.

    Isn't ideology wonderful?

    Balmer never has to think about whether we want Windows everywhere, it's For Our Own Good. They're trying to rescue us from the oppressive tyranny of incompatibility. And they are genuinely confused by why they're not being greeted as liberators.
    MS has been the biggest roadblock in software evolution to date and nothing can change that if Microsoft doesnt start to behaive like grownups.
    That's not how they see it at all. They seriously believe that Windows, and MS-DOS singlehandedly catipulted the personal computer into ubiquity, and the world is a much better place because of Windows.

    They're here to help us, whether we like it or not, and anything that opposes Micrsoft is The Enemy. To Microsoft, you're either with us or against us.

    It's important to understand how these people think. The trick to beating Microsoft, I suspect, lies in understanding it's mindset.
  • by hackwrench (573697) <hackwrench@hotmail.com> on Saturday September 03, 2005 @12:37PM (#13470906) Homepage Journal
    Explain to me how Ballmer's actions is the most efficient way of increasing his capital.

    As for true democracy. True democracy would mean that minorities would be separate governments, and that a change in viewpoints would place the individual under new laws and a new authority.
  • by cahiha (873942) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @12:58PM (#13471028)
    'I'm going to f***ing bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I'm going to f***ing kill Google.' Schmidt previously worked for Sun Microsystems and was the CEO of Novell."

    What else do you need to know about Microsoft? The company is run by an ill-tempered bald ex-football player who's in it for the sport and kill, nothing else. Ballmer deals in concepts like "team spirit", "take no prisoners", and "offense/defense", not bits, bytes, and software.

    Ballmer is also overestimating his own business acumen. Ballmer didn't "bury" Novell or Sun; to the degree that Novell and Sun have problems, they are self-inflicted or due to changing market conditions. I can't think of much Ballmer has done as a businessman that was particularly clever; most of what he has been responsible has been shady or outright illegal bullying of other companies. Shady deals he really is good at.

    Sadly, there are some good engineers and technologists at Microsoft, but they are just pawns in Ballmer's grand game and strategy. Well, fortunately, they seem to be leaving for greener pastures. Which brings us back to Ballmer's chair throwing...
  • by bahamat (187909) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @01:42PM (#13471264) Homepage
    Maybe we should all just type "www.microsoft.com" into our browsers and keep pressing F5 all week.

    Go to "www.microsoft.com" in my browser and turn up my computer's volume?
  • by MemoryDragon (544441) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @04:47PM (#13472372)
    They are probably so obsessed with their desire of controlling anything computer related (I can remember one early interview with Bill where he said, he wanted to have anything computer related running Microsoft software) that they simply have forgotten, that they have to die as well as anybody of us... Add to that a shitload of stress and a lot of temperament and you get reactions like that, to me Ballmer is heavily in need over a bigger vacation where he should rething his life and what he wants to do with it. I dont think he is insane, but he definitely seems to have lost the focus on what is important in life, after all, he probably will be dead in 10-20 years (more likely a heart attack within the next ten years than anything else, given his shape and temperament) and then his billions will do him nothing anymore, and if there is an afterlife, he will ask himself the question, what did I do with my life, I constantly was running after full control and trying to destroy others people life support of being able to have their own company.

    A sad life if you ask me...

    Same goes for Bill, although he spends a lot, which I regard high of him, all his day to day thinkins seems to revelove around getting more power instead of trying to have something from life.
  • What do you call a 401(k) retirement plan largely invested in stocks and bonds? Or a mutual fund largely held by unionised workers? If anything, this is what Marx meant about workers owning the means (the capital) of production.

    That is actually a very interesting point. I hope someone mods you up.

    However, most of these businesses currently are mostly owned by non-employees, so the employees don't usually have that much of a say over who the directors are except as employees. I don't say it is not a step in that direction, just that it isn't there yet.

    Secondly, I think that community-based open source projects are very explicitly a way in which the means of production can get socialized. One can argue that Marx acknowledged that any future post-capitalistic system would not do away with the institutions of Capitalism. Hence the rise of the corporation changed the economic role of government, but governments did not just disappear. I.e. just because they were not producing goods any more doesn't mean that they didn't offer other important services (law enforcement being one).

    Similarly with open source, companies don't go away. But the means of production (i.e the source code and development tools) are socialized. These are built and owned by the workers who organize themselves in their own hierarchy based on contributions to the community. The companies persist in a different role (but one still based on making money). I don't know what to call it. The roots of words like "communism" fit but it is not what people mean by the term. Therefore I have coined the term "communalism" focusing on the idea that communities become the key resource of businesses in their quest to earn money. Contributions to the communities then are often strategic. And the basic calculus of business is changed.
  • by mrchaotica (681592) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @06:17PM (#13472911)
    On the other hand, Microsoft has already been convicted of illegal monopolistic business tactics, and got zero punishment anyway. Why would they be worried about stuff like that now?
  • by Angst Badger (8636) on Sunday September 04, 2005 @04:50AM (#13475433)
    Is this the type of personality you would want running the company your 401(k) was invested in? Your retirement future, child's education, or second house at the lake, all riding on the ability of a short tempered reactionist who would scream and shout and create a personal vendetta not only aginst a competitor, but CEO-to-CEO?

    Ethical and social issues aside, yes. I know it's de rigeur on Slashdot to proclaim the imminent death of Microsoft, but they're making billions upon billions of dollars selling their second-rate products. Sure, it may have a lot more to do with marketing and vendor lock-in than quality products, but investors generally don't give a shit how the money is being made, just that it is being made, and Ballmer has been delivering money for many years. And that, when it gets down to it, is all that matters in the market.

    It would be nice if the system didn't reward flaming assholes like Steve Ballmer, but looking around myself, day after day, in an office full of bright, creative, and thoroughly nice people working for a boss who's at least as much of a sociopath as Ballmer, I have to conclude that what the market values are not the same set of characteristics I value in a coworker, roommate, or wife.

    I'd rather invest in a company who's CEO is headstrong and confident enough to try to innovate their competition our of existance, not temper tantrem their CEO to death.

    The myth that innovation is the key to success -- which has, with cosmic irony, been largely propagated by Microsoft -- is pure bullshit. The innovators typically flame out early because the market they have created grows more slowly than their need for cash or out of simple business ineptitude, and established firms come along and ride the ideas of the innovators to success. The exceptions are precisely cases where hyperactive megalomaniacs -- Jobs and Ballmer, for example, or Thomas Edison -- stumble into a room of pleasantly creative folks and horsewhip them mercilessly.

    Mind you, I'm not saying this is the way things should be, but it definitely appears to be the way things actually are.

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