05 September 2005

Desktop Vs Internet

Who will win? The OS or the WWW?

An article found in rediff.com - bit lengthy... edited
Microsoft CEO vowed to 'kill' Google

Michael Liedtke in San Francisco | September 05, 2005 10:41 IST

Microsoft Corp CEO Steve Ballmer vowed to 'kill' Internet search leader Google Inc in an obscenity-laced tirade, and Google chased a prized Microsoft executive 'like wolves,' according to documents filed Friday in an increasingly bitter legal battle between the rivals.

Lee started at Google the day after he resigned from Microsoft.The tug-of-war over Lee -- known for his work on computer recognition of language -- has exposed the behind-the-scenes animosity that has been brewing between two of high-tech's best-known companies.

Before joining Google, Google CEO, Eric Schmidt was a top executive at Sun Microsystems Inc. and Novell Inc., a pair of tech companies that Microsoft has previously battled.

Microsoft is suing to prevent Lee from leading Google's China expansion, maintaining those duties would violate the terms of a noncompete agreement that he signed as part of his employment contract.

Microsoft alleged Lee's insights helped him win a Google contract worth more than $10 million -- a package that Google itself described as "unprecedented" for the company.

Google paid Lee a $2.5 million signing bonus and promised a $1.5 million bonus after one year, plus a $250,000 salary and options on 10,000 shares of Google stock, according to court documents. If he stays for four years, Lee also will receive another 20,000 Google shares, currently worth $5.8 million.

Lee also demanded that Google pay all his legal fees if Microsoft sued, a request that was granted.

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