This is one of the things I really dislike about Microsoft and what I disliked about working at Microsoft. Ballmer doesn’t vow to compete against Google, “beat” Google, etc., in a violent tirade (Ballmer is a very physical guy), he vowed to kill Google. Some could argue that the word “kill” is a slang term for “beat” or “win against”, but those people have never worked at Microsoft. When Microsofties say “kill” they mean they want to make the company stop breathing. Remember when executive Paul Maritz was famously-quoted as saying they will “cut off Netscape’s air supply”? Microsoft is a testosterone-filled company so that language is not unusual at Microsoft. They supposedly had toned down their rhetoric in the last few years, but it doesn’t appear so. Ballmer’s got to grow up, he’s way too old to be throwing chairs against the wall because an employee left Microsoft and went to another company. He’s the CEO of one of the largest companies in the world and he’s calling the CEO of another company a “pussy”? He’s like a kid throwing a temper tantrum… if I was a Microsoft shareholder, I’d be concerned that the CEO of the company is so immature. Actually, I’d be also concerned he’s going to keel over from a heart attack… I remember thinking I’m going to witness just that when I saw him running around the Kingdome at a Microsoft company meeting, screaming at the top of his lungs, his face beet-red, sweat covering his button down shirt, and having to rest before he started his speech.
But I do agree with him when he says that Google is “a house of cards”. Google is the darling of the industry right now, but it’s just the classic technologist’s dream: one solution to all problems . Google can do no wrong in the eyes of technologists. Google has one source of revenue: placing ads on web sites. That makes Google an ad agency. They are not going to build a Microsoft Office competitor, they are not going to build an operating system, they are not going to do anything that Microsoft does, except possibly what MSN does. Why technologists are such supporters of an ad agency is beyond me…. maybe I’m from the old school technology world where advertising and marketing are merely ways to inform people about great technology. What’s become of the tech industry that it’s poster-child is an ad agency? Is Silicon Valley becoming Madison Avenue?