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Balmer Vows to Kill Google 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 David Horn ( 772985 ) <> on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:09AM (#13469682) Homepage
    No, if anything, it's libel. Very roughly, slander is spoken, libel is written.
  • by Lifewish ( 724999 ) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:11AM (#13469697) Homepage Journal
    It's a quote, hence (if I understand correctly) it's not required of Slashdot that it be true, only that it be an accurate representation of what that person said.
  • by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:14AM (#13469715) Homepage
    Court filings are protected. You can't be sued for libel in a civil action over what you tell a court; you can, however, be jailed for perjury if you're caught lying.
  • Demons? (Score:1, Informative)

    by mfh ( 56 ) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:19AM (#13469750) Homepage Journal
    I think anger may be a result of being in close contact with Satan, but it could also be a result of being in contact with God, for that matter.

    I think Balmer is an idiot now, more than ever. He wants to destroy anyone who gets in his way, which means he is likely psychotic.

    Which brings me to this [], a happy little picture I made to commemorate the Massachusetts Office Party.
  • by reality-bytes ( 119275 ) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:29AM (#13469783) Homepage

    I'll take it you've never watched the Steve Balmer "Developers, developers, developers" video then? (aka Monkey Dance)

    Well if you missed it: have a look here []
  • by PetoskeyGuy ( 648788 ) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:30AM (#13469790) []

    Reminds me of that recent article about testing CEO's for being a sociopath. :)
  • by estes_grover ( 466087 ) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:47AM (#13469854)
    A Mr. Tulip style of thing, 'eh?
  • by RootsLINUX ( 854452 ) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `xunilstoor'> on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:51AM (#13469871) Homepage
    Hilarious. If only I had mod points to spare right now. For those of you who don't get the joke, I suggest you take a look at the following website and get a life before a ninja comes and chops your head off! []
  • Re:Clarification (Score:4, Informative)

    by iamplasma ( 189832 ) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:52AM (#13469876) Homepage
    That's correct, but there's no prohibition (generally at least) against reporting factually about what happened in court. Indeed, such reporting is generally given very generous protection by the courts. So by simply framing the newspaper report as "it has been said in documents filed in court that...". In doing so, the newspaper aren't claiming that the facts are true, only making the completely true factual statement that a certain thing was said or submitted in court.
  • by moonbender ( 547943 ) <moonbender@ g m> on Saturday September 03, 2005 @09:34AM (#13470013)
    Duh. It's (assumedly) an accurate description of what Lucovosky said, hence a quote. Whether or not what Lucovosky says is his problem, in a manner of speaking.

    Anyway, whether that's a protection agains libel or slander, I don't know, but from what I read the other day, it's usually not considered either if you reasonably believe what you say is true.
  • by yagu ( 721525 ) * <> on Saturday September 03, 2005 @09:58AM (#13470122) Journal
    Kai Fu-Lee was an important executive at Microsoft and was a key resource on their expansion into China.

    So? Important executives leave companies all the time.

    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.

    The article doesn't say that. It says Microsoft alleges Fu-Lee sent Microsoft documents. Regardless, there is no statement in the article and no evidence I've seen in any articles about this squabble the Fu-Lee "worked" for Google secretly or otherwise while still at Microsoft. How crazy would that be aside from the already present risk of a non-compete clause in his existing Microsoft agreement?

    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.

    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.

    A judge already ruled preliminarily in Microsoft's favor, stating that Lee could not do the duties at Google he was hired to do.

    Getting the preliminary injunction in cases like this is pretty standard procedure. No judge is going to allow a potential violation of a contract (or crime) be committed is it can be checked first. This is not unusual. I don't know what the final result will be here, but I'm guessing Fu-Lee will prevail.

  • by doormat ( 63648 ) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @10:46AM (#13470359) Homepage Journal
    An original blog entry... []

    At that point, Mr. Ballmer picked up a chair and threw it across the room hitting a table in his office. Mr. Ballmer then said: "Fucking Eric Schmidt is a fucking pussy. I'm going to fucking bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I'm going to fucking kill Google." ....
  • by notaprguy ( 906128 ) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @10:56AM (#13470410) Journal
    Lucovosky is a smart guy but is also a prima donna quite capable of embellishment. Let's just say there are undoubtedly two sides to this story. I read the story linked to from the original post and note that Ballmer said that Lucovosky exaggerated the meeting. Based on my interactions with Lucovosky I would tend to believe Ballmer. That said, I have no doubt that Ballmer was passionaet and noisy. Anyone with an Internet connection knows that (Developers! Developer! Developers!).
  • by WhatAmIDoingHere ( 742870 ) * <> on Saturday September 03, 2005 @11:18AM (#13470507) Homepage
    A better link from digg [] is here [].
  • by br00tus ( 528477 ) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @11:33AM (#13470576)
    I don't see why these two things are incongruous. You can have a system that rewards sociopaths like Steve Ballmer, or, in the case of your analogy, people like Klaus Barbie. This doesn't mean if Klaus Barbie sends a bunch of children from Izieu to death camps he isn't guilty of anything. He just existed in a system of social relationships that rewarded him, and that behavior. Then the system of social relationships changed, and that behavior went from being something that was rewarded to something to be punished for.

    The reason people concentrate on systems and are less concerned with individual guilt is that they want to get rid of the rotten system first, and then worry about individual guilt. Otherwise, the powers-that-be can blame scapegoats when the uglier manifestations of a policy are revealed. They deal with the bad apples, and then continue the policy. An example would be Lynndie England, the woman who helped torture prisoners in Iraq. Most people condemn her individual behavior. Some people see her as not being fully responsible for her actions, but see her commanders, going up to the commander-in-chief, as responsible, and say it is symptomatic of the policy of war she is a part of. This group wants to show her as part of a system, while those who support the war want to disassociate her from the system by saying she is an aberration, a rotten apple and punishing her. And this scenario has played out before - for the US, My Lai in Vietnam, or to other countries - France's torture in Algeria, British torture in Ireland and so forth. The Lynddie Englands are pawns in a much larger game.

  • by Emeye ( 871203 ) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @12:06PM (#13470745)
    It's only libel if there is an intent to cause harm and a knowledge that what you write is false.
  • by fireboy1919 ( 257783 ) <> on Saturday September 03, 2005 @12:18PM (#13470814) Homepage Journal
    ...and your presenting it as factual.

    Obviously this isn't the case, is it?

    Satire is quite protected by the law as part of freedom of speech.
  • Re:Antitrust issues (Score:5, Informative)

    by LordSah ( 185088 ) * on Saturday September 03, 2005 @04:28PM (#13472250)
    It applies. Until recently, I was a developer at Microsoft, and we had anti-trust training as well. We received quite the lecture on not using militant or aggressive product code names, team names, etc. We couldn't even name the dev who volunteered for process enforcement.
  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @05:11PM (#13472508) Homepage Journal
    there is something fundamentally wrong with their character.

    Perhaps. I think everyone has a potential for these kinds of displays of anger. And some people are simply more prone to emotional displays than others.

    If this Ballmer anecdote is true, it is very interesting and possibly enlightening. Anger and fear are both responses to threats -- the difference is that you feel fear when there is no clear action to take, anger is for when you have something specific that you can do. They often alternate together. I think this anecdote, if it is strue, shows Ballmer feels deeply threatened by Google. It could be for a very good reason, or it could be that Ballmer is just insecure. You'd have to know him to be sure.

    In any case, it probably doesn't matter why; what really matters is what's going on in the heads of the people around him.

    Emotions are usually not so much irrational as arational or maybe pararational. Emotions and reason are just two different kinds of faculties for directing behavior, each with their own scope and usefulness. Emotions are fast, all encompassing and generate stereotypical and statistically useful behavior. Just the thing when the neighboring tribe is raiding your cattle at 3AM: you leap out of bed, grab your club, and beat the crap out of them. If you see one at 3PM looking at your cattle, it's not necessarily time to kill, it's time to use reason, which seeks more information and crafts an appropriate response, which migh be anything from moving the cattle to a more guarded area or marrying one of your daughter's into the other tribe. Reason is deliberate, because it deliberates, and seeks more information. Emotion focuses you on, and marshalls your resources towards immediate action. Part and parcel of this is rejecting new information or twisting it in a way that reinforces the action you're itching to do, whether it is throwing a chair or running away and hiding.

    That's why smart people get themselves out of the room before they throw the chair. It's seldom the right thing to do, and it once the impulse is there, it tends to get worse before it gets better. An even wiser man stays out of the job where this comes up often.

    In any case, the MS CEO's obvious fear of Google means that we're guaranteed to see very vigorous action against Google on many fronts, techincal, marketing and legal. What would be interesting to know is the degree to which this fear is held by other senior decision makers at Microsoft, and the degree to which it is mitigated and directed by cooler heads. Gates can be testy, but I think he's definitely cooler headed. This can be a powerful combination, a hot head with a cold fish directing and containing the fire. Without this counterweight, they may make some serious mistakes.

"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN