Feeds

MS nixes Google hire

Phoney war

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

Hands off, he's my PR prize

As we mentioned earlier the court filings are exceptionally theatrical, and pointless. For its part, Microsoft explained that Lee was "deeply involved in Microsoft's efforts to expand its business in China and learned Microsoft's confidential strategic plans regarding that crucial new market".

Google, with its hands already on Lee, pictured itself the very model of innocence.

"Lee has not disclosed any of Microsoft's to Google. Google has told Lee repeatedly not to disclose Microsoft's confidences")

(This isn't the only part of the brief that sounds like a Victorian English novel).

Google goes on to claim that Microsoft's very accusation that Lee would spill the beans "seeks to impune his good reputation".

Which is weird, because two paragraphs later, Google's lawyers go on to impugn his good reputation themselves. And they don't spare the horses.

"Lee is not a search expert," they state, pretty baldly. "throughout his career ... Lee was an executive who managed groups developing technologies in the area of speech engines and enhancing the user interface." All his triumphs were someone else's work, they insist. And Lee didn't know anything about the commercial sphere, either.

Hey, welcome to Google, you phoney.

In fact the whole lawsuit reads like a work of fiction, and deserves to be forgetten fairly quickly.

Two questions can't be, though - why did Microsoft push back now, with Lee? And how significant is this hiring spree? Is Google trophy hunting or are these make-or-break hires?

The latter is a very good question, and it's worth looking at how much value media-visible rocket scientists have contributed. Recent evidence suggests not.

Only last week HP dispensed with the services of "legend" Alan Kay, who was let go with along of six of his team. Kay has been developing an object oriented "programming environment" aimed at young children for a decade, and yet it still looks like something 5-year olds themselves would have left behind in the sandpit. HP won't miss him.

Google is supposed to be the new "operating system", according to its most ambitious shareholders. But we can't see Google's motley collection of supposed "OS experts" ranging from at one end of the scale DEC veteran and NT kernel guy Mark Lucovsky, to at the other end a scripting guy called Adam Bosworth, whose claim to fame lies on er, building DHTML into IE4, posing a threat to anyone. These really are trophies looking for a shelf.

With rather more serious intent, we notice, Google has been hiring quite carefully in the lobbying sector, hiring neocon headbanger Dan Senor, a hardcore Washington operator.

Both Google and Microsoft are prominent lobbyists and their intentions are probably better gleaned from seeing how many smokers they hire, rather than how many PhDs. Buttering up the regulators is both companies' top priority. It simply suits them both to pretend that the "hiring war" is more than about bruised egos. ®

Related stories

Ballmer - No blockbuster takeovers
IE7 nukes Google, Yahoo! search
Microsoft uses former exec as lawsuit springboard 'to stop' Google

Best practices for enterprise data

More from The Register

next story
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?