Feeds

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

Nothing personal

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

3 Big data security analytics techniques

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

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
OpenBSD founder wants to bin buggy OpenSSL library, launches fork
One Heartbleed vuln was too many for Theo de Raadt
Got Windows 8.1 Update yet? Get ready for YET ANOTHER ONE – rumor
Leaker claims big release due this fall as Microsoft herds us into the CLOUD
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: Great changes, but sssh don't mention the...
Why HELLO Amazon! You weren't here last time
Patch iOS, OS X now: PDFs, JPEGs, URLs, web pages can pwn your kit
Plus: iThings and desktops at risk of NEW SSL attack flaw
Next Windows obsolescence panic is 450 days from … NOW!
The clock is ticking louder for Windows Server 2003 R2 users
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
Apple inaugurates free OS X beta program for world+dog
Prerelease software now open to anyone, not just developers – as long as you keep quiet
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.