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Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer laughed off the very idea of Google doing an operating system, much less it being any sort of challenge to Microsoft's love-it-or-hate-it Windows franchise.

Being rather coy, Ballmer called Chrome "Interesting." In full: "I will be respectful, who knows what this thing is? To me, the Chrome OS thing is highly interesting. It won't happen for a year and a half and they already announced an operating system." The last was a reference to Android, Google's announced operating system for mobile devices.

Ballmer's words came at a conference for the company's technology partners in New Orleans. The audience, largely in favor of Microsoft, laughed lightly at Ballmer's remarks.

Despite the frivolous tone of Ballmer's remarks, Microsoft appears to be taking Google as a serious threat to its core businesses. It has announced recently that it would make portions of Office, its ubiquitous business suite, free online (much like Google's similar, online-only office suite).

Microsoft has also tried once again to corner the search engine market, after failing with Live Search. The new Bing search engine is aimed squarely at stripping Google of at least some of its market share and mindshare as the Internet's biggest and best known search engine.

Is this a story of two competitors, or a tale of two businesses that are forgetting their core markets for the purpose of engaging in a pissing match against each other? Only time will tell.

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It must be tough to be Ballmer, and constantly be asked about your competitors interesting products instead of things made by your own company.

What was the last thing he laughed off?  Oh... the iPhone.

Of course, if he did anything else, he wouldn't really be doing his job as Microsoft's spokesman - so his reaction is unsurprising.


In his defense he laughed saying he didnt even know what it was and that he is not going to change stratagies for his company based on a blog post. Which is all we really have on Chrome right now. A blog post.

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Super Dave

In the picture Steve Balmer appears to be trying to remove an imaginary noose from around his neck!


  •  3vi1
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He looks like Peter Boyle


So this Ballmer guy is Microsoft's official laugher? Guess with the current OS sales situation you have to laugh over something.


Wonder if he's discovered lolcats?