Microsoft, Google to fight geek battle

As the industry war between Microsoft and Google begins to boil, the two companies plan to battle in less serious fashion at Linuxworld.

As the industry war between Microsoft and Google begins to boil, representatives from the two companies plan to duke it out in less serious fashion at the upcoming Linuxworld show in San Francisco.

At the Golden Penguin Bowl, scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 8 at the Linuxworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco, executives from Google and Microsoft will compete in a trivia game show, an annual event at the show that is often characterized by "funny costumes" and cheeky humor, said Dave Rosenberg, an independent marketing consultant in San Francisco who developed content for the conference and its Web site.

The description for the event on the Linuxworld Web site calls it a "wacky, geek trivia game" involving some "notable open-source personalities."

"Find out if the Geeks or the Nerds will be the next winners of the coveted Golden Penguin award," the site invites Linuxworld attendees.

Jeremy Allison, lead Samba developer at Novell, will host the bowl at this year's show. He told the IDG News Service that Bill Hilf, lead program manager and leader of the Linux/Open Source lab at Microsoft, will captain the Microsoft team, and Chris DiBona, Google's open source program manager, will lead the Google side.

Despite the heated market rivalry between the two companies participating in the competition, Allison said he plans to keep the program light. "I'll be having some fun with it," he said.

That sort of atmosphere is not reflective of the cutthroat business battle that is developing between the two vendors, however.

Thursday at Microsoft's annual Financial Analyst Meeting in Redmond, Washington, Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer stepped up his rhetoric against Google and continued to promote Microsoft's aim to topple the company not only in the search space, but also in Web site advertising dollars for its competing search and Internet services site,

"What do we want? More than anybody else has," Ballmer said, when asked by an analyst about Microsoft's goals against Google in these markets. "You might think it's a funny answer, but if you don't set the big, bold goal, the big ambition to be number one, you never get to be there."

Microsoft Thursday also won a small victory in its efforts to keep a former employee from performing his new job functions at Google when a King County Superior Court in Seattle granted a restraining order against Kai-Fu Lee that prevents him from engaging in competitive work at Google.

Microsoft sued both Google and Lee on Tuesday, July 19, after Lee, formerly corporate vice president of Microsoft's Natural Interactive Services Division, took a job with Google to spearhead new research and development efforts in China. The software giant alleges that Lee's employment at Google violates a noncompetition agreement signed when he was hired at Microsoft.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Elizabeth Montalbano

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Shining a light on creativity

MSI has long pushed the boundaries of invention with its ever-evolving range of laptops but it has now pulled off a world first with the new MSI Creative 17.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?