Feeds

Microsoft uses former exec as lawsuit springboard 'to stop' Google

Nothing personal

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Microsoft is using its court case against Google to fire a warning shot across the corporate bows and staunch further staff defections to the search giant.

Microsoft's top two executives apparently told Dr Kai-Fu Lee, hired last week by Google and promptly prosecuted by Microsoft, the case was nothing personal "just" business.

In a sign of just how anxious Microsoft is about the threat posed by Google in internet, corporate and desktop search, Bill Gates reportedly told Lee that chief executive Steve Ballmer has been looking for a reason to go after to Google. Lee's defection, to head-up Google's Chinese R&D facility, was clearly it.

"Steve is definitely going to sue you and Google over this," Gates said according to court filings reported in the The Seattle Times. "He has been looking for something just like this, someone at a VP level to go to Google. We need to do this to stop Google."

According to The Times, Ballmer informed Lee: "We like you. Your contributions to Microsoft have been immense. It's not you we are after, it's Google."

It is not clear whether Gates meant Google had to be stopped commercially or stopped from hiring Microsoft employees. However, Microsoft has lost staff to Google in the recent past, with Google last year recruiting 16-year Microsoft veteran and distinguished engineer Mark Lucovsky - who joined from Digital Equipment Corp (DEC).

Clearly, the loss of a VP, particularly one so close to Microsoft's battle against a new competitor, was one hire too much for Microsoft.

Microsoft is currently seeking a temporary restraining order to prevent Lee from working at Google until the lawsuit is settled.®

Related stories

Vista - searching for something fresh
Search Wars - the Empire strikes back
Of Microsoft, RSS and Longhorn

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft to bake Skype into IE, without plugins
Redmond thinks the Object Real-Time Communications API for WebRTC is ready to roll
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
Mozilla: Spidermonkey ATE Apple's JavaScriptCore, THRASHED Google V8
Moz man claims the win on rivals' own benchmarks
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Ubuntu 14.10 tries pulling a Steve Ballmer on cloudy offerings
Oi, Windows, centOS and openSUSE – behave, we're all friends here
Was ist das? Eine neue Suse Linux Enterprise? Ausgezeichnet!
Version 12 first major-number Suse release since 2009
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.