War of the Worlds

It’s like Ali-Foreman in Zaire.

Law.com serves up wire reports that Google has fired back at Microsoft over the latter’s lawsuit seeking to prevent Google from hiring a Microsoft executive, Kai-Fu Lee, who would establish a new Google research facility in China and lead its operations there. Dr. Lee was working on search technology at Microsoft and is the highest-ranking executive to depart for Google. A key Microsoft engineer left for Google earlier this year.

While the ostensible reason for Microsoft’s lawsuit is a non-compete agreement that Dr. Lee signed (and perhaps a desire to play the China card), there may be 302 other reasons:


If press reports are true that Microsoft’s initial lawsuit was filed “within hours” of seeing the Google press release, the meter is probably running 24/7 for two companies that can afford it.

Update (28 July 05, pm) :

Microsoft gets the TRO. Advantage Ballmer.

Ballmer quoted in the New York Times:

“Are you buying our stock?” he said he had asked a group of his executives, but there were no takers. “All the hands stayed down.”

Advantage Google.