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Balmer Vows to Kill Google 766

Posted by Zonk
from the it-would-be-hard-to-kill-a-corporate-entity dept.
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 j.a.mcguire (551738) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:07AM (#13469674)
    isn't it slander and defamation to post quotes like that without the evidence to back it up?
  • Steve Jobs was right (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Eminence (225397) <akbrandt@gmaiPASCALl.com minus language> on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:11AM (#13469694) Homepage
    Microsoft lacks class. It's visible in their products and apparently shows also in personal behavior of their leaders. It's interesting to watch Microsoft's Channel 9 [msdn.com] to see this in their corporate culture. No wonder they get mad at Google.
  • by Augusto (12068) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:11AM (#13469700) Homepage
    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.
  • by yog (19073) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:20AM (#13469752) Homepage Journal
    Give the guy a break. He's got a high pressure job. He works for the most demonized tech company in America, if not the world, and MS's products and services are constantly being hacked by hundreds of thousands of virus/worm writers with apparently nothing better to do than try to destroy his company.

    On top of all that, his city, state, and federal governments are all hoping to find a way to grab his $46 billion either through lawsuits, taxes, or confiscation. That's the way of things. When you're successful, everyone else tries to tear you down.

    I heard plenty of stories of such behavior when I was at Fidelity Investments. These upper level analysts who were getting high six figure salaries would scream and throw their phones against the wall when things didn't go their way. The pressure was really getting to them.

    I'm not defending all of Microsoft's actions but you've got to feel for the guy when he's caught on tape/web/whatever acting like an ordinary, flawed human being with emotions. Frankly I'm rather relieved to hear that Ballmer is not some kind of icy monster. Heh. I wonder how many Aeron chairs he goes through in a month!
  • by MouseR (3264) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:36AM (#13469814) Homepage
    I think it was always pretty clear that MonkeyBoy is totally a deranged maniac. And I mean this in the most flattering way I can given he's probably worse than what his public figure make him out to be.

    This is serious stuff. He basically made a death threat to the Google CEO.

    Balmer sometimes acts like a cocaine addict. Snappy, choleric, over-hyped ("developers developers developers!").

    He's certainly not a role model of mine.

    Gates might have been an evil corporate henchman, but at least he didn't have this deranged personality.
  • by ZippyKitty (902321) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:44AM (#13469844)
    Well I remember in one of the "ethics" courses they make me take at work that you aren't allowed to say that you will "bury" the competition. Seems that it can be taken as anti-competitive and used against you in court. Of course this is Microsoft we are talking about... being accused of being anti-coompetive isn't exactly anything new. ZK
  • Clarification (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rogerborg (306625) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:46AM (#13469849) Homepage
    You can't be sued over what you only say in court. If you repeate the same slander or libel outside of court, you can be sued for that after the case has ended (regardless of whether you're found guilty of perjury), as SCO's executives might find out soon.
  • by oh_bugger (906574) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @09:11AM (#13469948)
    But sometimes when things said in private go public, heads need to roll. I can think of a few times this has happened in politics. 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
  • by salesgeek (263995) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @09:27AM (#13469988) Homepage
    What kind of chilling effect is this having?

    Go ask Google, Skype, Symantec, Apple, the local Linux guy, all of which benefit immensely from Microsoft not getting it until it's too late.

    I used to work for a company that had a mini MS complex: we thought everyone in IT industry services sector or reseller channel was a competition. The result: we fought a war on 900 fronts and could not bring critical resources to bear on our real competitors (other national mega resellers). Eventually, we were spending more money on trying to out-market and out business develop inconsequential competitors and our sales guys were losing sales because we were not able to deliver hardware on time to customers.

    Right now, MS is showing signs of what I saw at Inacom:

    * Changes and delays with their OS product.
    * Development of huge initiatives that business partners want and customers don't want like DRM and trusted computing
    * Not adapting to changing business models - open source for example.
    * Ability to market, but not deliver - like the MSN search that was going to be more accurate, etc...
    * Competing against yourself - AXAPTA, NAVISION, GreatPlains... how many competing and overlapping ERP/CRM packages do you need?
    * When was the last time there was a major real change in office, anyway?
    * Oh, and ceeding the entire low end of the computer industry to Linspire and linux (when was the last time you saw a new windowsXP computer for $250)?
  • by bigtallmofo (695287) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @09:31AM (#13469998)
    Did anyone that's bashing Ballmer and Microsoft actually read the article? Here's the summary:

    1. Kai Fu-Lee was an important executive at Microsoft and was a key resource on their expansion into China.
    2. Even before quitting at Microsoft, Kai Fu-Lee was working secretly for Google by sending them Microsoft documents. Google admits this, but their defense is that it was public information anyway.
    3. Kai Fu-Lee had an employment contract with Microsoft that Google conspired with Lee to violate. At least two violations occurred including his non-compete agreement and working against the company you're working for while you're working for it.
    4. A judge already ruled preliminarily in Microsoft's favor, stating that Lee could not do the duties at Google he was hired to do.

    Of course, anyone surprised by this hasn't been paying attention to Google's actions lately. They're trying to be the next Microsoft and as such will be not only utilizing every play from their playbook, but also inventing some new evil tactics as well.
  • by Robocoastie (777066) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @09:39AM (#13470033) Homepage
    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. Anti-trust that's why. That same arguement could (and was) used to justify Rockefeller, Standard oil and a host of others. M$ should have been busted up when it was found guilty of anti-trust. But the DOJ and Congress were too damn scared to rock the boat and owned too much stock in it themselves. Now shoo away fan boy you're worse than a fundy apologist surrounded by contradictions and religious dilemnas yet stands there with hands over their ears shouting "la la la I can't hear you la la la la la"
  • Antitrust issues (Score:5, Interesting)

    by acordes (69618) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @09:54AM (#13470104)
    I find this story very interesting, because back when I was in college I interned at Intel. Very first day we went through antitrust training because Intel had been burned a couple of times on antitrust issues. One of the big points they made was don't ever claim that some technology is an "AMD-killer" or that we're going to "kill" a certain company. Statements like that can be used in antitrust proceedings as proof that you were actively trying to force a competitor out of the marketplace. Not sure if it applies here, but there are definitely some similarities.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 03, 2005 @10:07AM (#13470163)
    Why is killing your competition out of the question? Competition is only good for the consumer. Producers have to put up with it because they are not allowed to coerce the consumer into purchasing their goods and services. However, as a producer, reducing your competition gives you more pricing power and greater market share.

    So you evaluate the cost of destroying a competitor through all the legal means: buyouts, partnership deals to lock them out of vendor channels, massive marketing campaigns against their products, below-cost sales of your own products, technology lockin for your customers (which might still be acceptable to them if paired with discounts), etc. All of these things have a cost which you would have to weigh against the financial gain of having fewer competitors in the future. If the costs are less, then you'd be crazy not to do it.

    And if you are REALLY big, you can even consider the illegal means of eliminating your competition. The potential legal penalties are also costs in this equation, which may or may not outweigh the benefits.

    So as a large, established provider in a market, you can probably afford to play whack-a-mole with potential competitors using all means at your disposal. The larger you are, the easier this is, thus enabling you to get even larger, until your size is capped by the size of the market as a whole. The difficult part is deciding which competitiors are worth the cost of whacking as soon as possible because the longer you wait, the more expensive it will be.

    Of course, this just means competition has moved up a level. Now competing businesses have to find a way to slip under the radar long enough to grow to a point where they can survive being whacked. The Linux industry made it. Google will probably make it. Lots of others did not.

  • by bigtallmofo (695287) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @10:22AM (#13470237)
    The article doesn't say that. It says Microsoft alleges Fu-Lee sent Microsoft documents.

    You're right. The article does say that Microsoft alleges Lee sent Google information while still working for them. You're wrong in that you missed Google's defense to this allegation which I've copied here:

    although Google insists all the material that Lee relayed to Google had been made public previously.

    That's clearly an admission that it did occur, they're just saying that they could have gathered the information in another way as well because it was public. That's hardly a defense.

    Again, two alleged violations occurred. As for non-compete clauses, there is high suspicion in the industry and in the courts these types of agreements are even legal.

    First, it seems pretty clear cut to me that what he's doing would violate a non-compete agreement. Microsoft hired him to do X for Microsoft, Google pursued him "like wolves" (from their own internal documents) to get him to do X for Google.

    Second, you're correct. If a $50,000 per year programmer signs a non-compete agreement with his employer and then finds another job for $55,000 per year, there is a legal gray area as to whether the non-compete agreement can be enforced. You can't stop someone from earning a living. You're wrong though if you think this applies to someone that Google has offered to pay $10 million dollars.

  • "From the Article" (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jimbolaya (526861) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @10:28AM (#13470265) Homepage
    "At some point in the conversation, Mr. Ballmer said: 'Just tell me it's not Google'".

    I do not see that line anywhere in the article.

  • by miffo.swe (547642) <daniel,hedblom&gmail,com> on Saturday September 03, 2005 @10:36AM (#13470312) Homepage Journal
    You really need to read up on how Microsoft got the marketshare it has today. If your anarchy market had been in place Microsoft would still be controlling traffic lights.

    Microsoft got in because of the same rules you seem to detest. I suppose that "he who dont know history is bound to repeat the same mistakes over and over" is more accurate than anyone can imagine here.

    A stupid idiot who pumps himself full of anabolic stereoids can win a competition yes. Does that make him a winner in your eyes?
  • by DroopyStonx (683090) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @11:01AM (#13470427)
    I never understood why Bill Gates didn't retire once he was worth an astronomical amount of money.

    You hear about Ballmer flippin out, throwing chairs because he lost someone to Google, but what does he care? How OLD is he?

    I'll guess... early 50's, and looking at him, he's not exactly in great shape and probably has a shitload of stress to deal with, which means he'll be dead in 20 years.

    Why not just fucking retire? You're worth billions... so what personal feeling of satisfaction is to be had by conquering google? Even if you don't conquer google, you'll still be filthy fucking rich.

    What's the point? It's not like they offer quality products..
  • by dan.hunt (613949) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @11:36AM (#13470586) Journal
    I have. Even the mutual funds I buy must not include any MSFT stock. I can sleep better at night knowing I have not been a unknown participant in the MSFT madness. Greed is not good, greed is bad. The chair throwing tantrums of a CEO ARE CONSISTANT with the behaviour of the company since the begining. Not investing in companies that sell land mines, not investing in companies that behave badly, works for me.
  • by Programmer2Lawyer (899626) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @11:42AM (#13470616)

    Actually, what Ballmer is doing is true capitalism; it's just the extreme of it. Capitalism is great, but this is exactly what it turns into when allowed to go unchecked. That is why we have governmental controls. Too much government = communism; too little = ruthless Capitalism (e.g. Ballmer).

    While I agree that Ballmer's strategy is maniacal and disgusting, you can't reproach him by saying that he isn't true to Capitalism, as though Capitalism is this machine turning out benevolence and fairness.

    This is akin to saying that all we need is true Democracy. Democracy is great too, but pure Democracy is pure majority-rule and no protection of minorities. If 51% wanted to ostracize blacks, then, hey, that's democracy. Fortunately, we don't live in a pure democracy. We have very undemocratic institutions such as the Constitution and the Courts.

    Thus, you can't condemn Ballmer as though he's not following "true" Capitalism. He is; that's the problem.

  • by jc42 (318812) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @12:08PM (#13470752) Homepage Journal
    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.

    Well, maybe, maybe not. Perhaps it's only hurting the American portion of the industry.

    Consider the origins of the things that Microsoft is trying to kill. Google is a bit unusual, in that it started in the US. How many other real innovations lately have come from the US?

    The "browser war"? Netscape was a commercialization of Mosaic, which was developed in Switzerland. Its descendants, mozilla and firefox, are completely international developments (and are finally starting to solve the "internationalization" problem.) The most notable independently-developed browser is opera, from Norway.

    Startup OSs? Linux was started in Finland, and was in part a spinoff of minix, which came from the Netherlands. Linus himself now lives in the US, but linux development is rather evenly distributed around the world. We've recently read here of iTron, developed in Japan, in use as an embedded kernel in billions of devices built around the world, but still nearly unknown in the US. (Why is this?)

    Much of Microsoft's clout is restricted to the US. There are serious signals that governments all over are getting very nervous about them, and are starting to take steps to limit their power. In the US, Microsoft was one of the biggest contributors to George Bush's two campaigns, which bought them the effective dismissal of the Justice Dept's attempt to reign them in, and an "agreement" that effectively indemnifies them against further charges in US courts.

    As a result, they are effectively free to take any actions, legal or not, against US competitors. But they are having little success at reigning in new developments outside the US.

    Google should just slowly shift their operation to a non-US base, preferably a widely-distributed one not under the control of any one government, as many big corporations are doing. And the rest of the US computer industry should continue moving its R&D to other countries, beyond the reach of Microsoft.

    American computer geeks might seriously consider learning a couple of languages other than English. (No, I don't mean Java or Ruby. ;-) If you want to continue developing new ideas, there might be safer places to do so.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 03, 2005 @12:12PM (#13470775)
    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.

    How did it turn out?

    Did the boss immediately sign up for anger managment classes?

    Did you get a raise for being so mature?

    Did the boss apologize and promise never to do it again?

    Did you suddenly become more sexually attractive to your coworkers?

    Did you get ignored?

    Or more likely....

    Did your career stop advancing at that job?

    Did you get branded a scapegoat?

    Did you get reassigned to something nasty?

    Did you get fired?

  • Not unexpected (Score:2, Interesting)

    by cartoon (39734) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @12:24PM (#13470845)
    This is not the first time that Steve Ballmer goes over the line. He is responsible for much of what is wrong with Microsoft. He is not a business man, he is on a egomaniac crusade against the rest of the world. It is my belief that Microsoft without Steve Ballmer would behave much more ethical in the industry, and not like a drunk and blind elephant in a porn shop.
  • Re:Why kill? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by horza (87255) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @12:59PM (#13471033) Homepage
    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.

    Hmmm, they've become the world's most profitable company and have an obscene cash surplus by illegally crushing all competition (and have a carte blanche from the President). I can't see any incentive for them to change.

    Why not start doing good things for computing for a change?

    Because it's detrimental to shareholder value.

    MS has been the biggest roadblock in software evolution to date and nothing can change that if Microsoft doesnt start to behaive like grownups.

    Software has been held back enormously, but I can't see them changing their embrace/extend/destroy strategy whilst being propped up by all their lucrative government and corporate contracts. The only reason they've touched their broken IE browser is because Firefox has taken a few % of their market. Monopolies have no incentive to change, it must be forced upon them either by government or a fortunate change in the capitalistic market.

    Phillip.
  • It's their past... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Eminence (225397) <akbrandt@gmaiPASCALl.com minus language> on Saturday September 03, 2005 @01:23PM (#13471176) Homepage
    Their paranoia comes from their past. They outwitted the IBM, because IBM thought it's invincible. They don't want to make the same blunder. So, they now go and try to stomp on any competition that might outwit them. It has nothing to do with rational business, it's a complex emotional attachment of their leaders to the company and its position coupled with fear someone would push them out of it.

    Of course, someone will at some point as everything is impermanent and all power ends some day. Before that, however, attachment of Balmer and the like brings them much apparently suffering which they deal with by screaming profanities and throwing furniture. And that's something I find distasteful. It's rather hard to respect a man in his late forties with emotional reactions of a spoiled child.

  • What we have are two very different forms of capitalism: Big Business Capitalism and Free Market Capitalism. They are different and generally mutually incompatible. Yet they can both claim to be the "real" form of Capitalism.

    Big Buisness Capitalism has historically been the foundation of Social Darwinism.

    We as a country made a very conscious decision in the middle part of the 19th century to move away from Big Buisness Capitalism and use the government to protect the marketplace. This eventually led to very large social and economic changes occuring in the early part of the 20th century. The idea that the Free Market is something to be protected is something that has been further advanced by fears that we could see a sort of fascism by Big Business.

    Now, to tie this in with the writings of Karl Marx. Marx was writing at the time of the Industrial Revolution and Das Kapital largely discusses the nature of Bug Business Capitalism. Marx rightly pointed out that this form of Capitalism was unsustainable in any real way and resulted in a large number of social ills (he saw it as better than the Feudal economic systems it replaced however). Marx therefore concluded that as this form of capitalism collapsed under its own weight, that it would be replaced by a system where the workers ran and owned the means of production. In general, this has not happened. However, Marx was right in that this form of capitalism did fall in the developed world. What has increasingly replaced it, however, is not Marxian socialism but *free market* capitalism. I am actually genuinely surprised that Marx did not see the rise of antitrust laws, for example, as the foundation of what would replace or modify the forms of Capitalism he was writing about.

    While Free Market Capitalism does "socialize" one of the important aspects of the "means of production" it does not do so by declaring factories, energy infrastructure, etc. as common goods but rather by focusing on a more abstract concept of the "marketplace" as a common good and something to be protected by the government. This is why we have antitrust laws.

    What Microsoft is doing is fundamentally at odds with capitalism as it is established here in the US. They have on their record a court finding that they violated antitrust law. I.e. they are a convicted monopolist (yes, they were conviceted in a civil case, but there are plenty of court documents which uphold the concept of a conviction in a civil case).

    Another interesting angle of this case might be if counterclaims are filed as a result alleging that Microsoft is abusing its monopoly to hurt Google (MSN search is the default search engine in IE). IANAL, but I believe that the principle of collateral estoppel might put Microsoft in a bad position here. Maybe even bad enough to cause them to drop the suit in exchange for the counterclaims to be dropped.
  • by John Miles (108215) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @04:10PM (#13472152) Homepage Journal
    I never understood why Bill Gates didn't retire once he was worth an astronomical amount of money.

    I thought about a similar question once: with Gates's resources, he could do some seriously interesting stuff. If he wanted to retire, he could probably build his retirement home on freakin' Mars.

    The answer I arrived at was that the fact that someone with the drive and passion to do something like that wouldn't be sufficiently-committed to his "day job" (running Microsoft, in this case) to achieve the requisite level of financial success in the first place.

    People like Gates and Ballmer have a metric assload of money because they care more about what they're doing than anything in the world or anything beyond it. It isn't just about piling up more money... that's the difference between a Ballmer and a Fastow, or a Gates and an Ebbers. It's about the process that created the pile in the first place. Anything else, to these guys, is a distraction.

    Paul Allen would be a good case in point: he got off the boat too early. He made what seemed like a vast fortune at the time, at which point he decided to do some other things with his life, so he left Microsoft. Seattle has benefitted greatly from some of the stuff he's done (although that's a heavily-politicized topic around here), but the unfortunate reality is that a few hundred million bucks here and there isn't enough to do anything seriously interesting.

    Bill Gates could throw a hundred times more cash at Scaled Composites than Allen did... but that's apparently not Bill's thing. Which is precisely why Bill could've done it and Paul couldn't. Insert pithy Joseph Heller quotation here...
  • by unixbugs (654234) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @04:29PM (#13472258)
    I feel like putting this in perspective.

    What's the big mystery here?

    Microsoft does not pay people enough to work for them, or employees do not agree with what Microsoft is doing, or would have them do, so they leave. If Microsoft can't accept the fact that they are being defeated fair and square because they didn't incorporate enough "employee lock-in" into their business model, tough shit. End of story.

    I work for a company like this who likes to scare employees into staying employed with them by suing ex-employees seemingly arbitrarily, writing threatening and harrassing email to staff, and general pandering to every little insecurity of the executive staff. Beauracracy and politics are obstacles to progress. "The Chain Of Command", I have learned, is nothing more than a way for your manager to take credit for your ideas, and then his manager implement them incorrectly, and then it comes back to you when it breaks and you take the fall. This perversion of business practices is costing many of the finest people I have seen in IT their reputations and careers. I am sick of it and have all but lost faith in IT. I know how I got here, and want to warn anyone reading to do your homework on any potential employer before signing away your soul.

    If you talk back, your'e fired and they make up some shit about you, and maybe sue you. If you stay, you compromise even the most basic ethical beliefs by doing what it takes to keep employed. And if you quit, well, you better not ever work again because that non-compete covers everything you touched since the day you got hired, including the toilet handle.

    My most sincere wishes of luck and well being go out to all employees who will leave Microsoft or similarly "morally challenged" companies, my sympathies to those who cannot, and my curses to those who would perpetuate this ugly and vicious cycle of plugging the holes in the dam holding back all your bullshit with your peckers. Companies can ruin indviduals for life at relatively little expense, and being an individual without the deep pockets to satisfy the courts is the hole in the legal system that is probably abused most in our country. I see it more often that I would like to admit in my own WORKPLACE not to mention TV, and can tell you that I personally have missed out on many good job opportunities just because my name is associated with this company and its notoriously cannibalistic tendancies and itchy trigger finger for litigation.

    "Work for us or we will sue you." Why don't you just cut my fingers off and we will call it even.

  • by Master of Transhuman (597628) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @05:53PM (#13472776) Homepage

    They don't want to just control anything computer-related.

    They want to control the PEOPLE that are computer-related. Every user, every developer. And then use that to proclaim themselves better than EVERYONE else.

    THAT's the bottom line of primate behavior - every human HAS to be better than everyone else (in their own mind), or they get panic-stricken from the fear of death.

    The Gnostics knew this two thousand years ago. They said that there was a need in humans that could not be satisfied by family, work, society, or anything else but the transcendence of the human condition. And that need is transcendence of death.

    We Transhumans are not so afflicted because we do not fear death (the hardwired fear reaction in the brain remains, but it does not govern our every action) - but neither do we accept it. Thus, we activate the "fight" side of the "fight or flight" instinct.

    Gates and Ballmer, Bush, practically everybody, are all down on the "flight" side. It may look like fight to people, but it's really flight. You only fight if you understand the core issue and make the right decision. That core decision is not to accept death. And that decision has corollaries which must be understood and implemented.

    It's pathetic - with Gates or Ballmer's money, they could defeat death. They just don't know how.
    It's purely an inability to reason rationally about the issue because they are overwhelmed with fear.

    And so they'll die scrambling for power instead of actually doing what is necessary to defeat death.

    Appropriate, since their scrambling for power is what is holding back everyone else's chances of defeating death.
  • by WhiplashII (542766) on Sunday September 04, 2005 @02:39AM (#13474935) Homepage Journal
    What you describe is precisiely why small companies are always the ones that bring change, fix problems, etc. If the big companies are smart, they buy the little companies and everyone goes home happy (Intel, Google, Microsoft for the most part). If they are dumb, they fight against the little companies and are eventually replaced (old IBM vs Microsoft, current Microsoft vs Google, etc.)

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