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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.
After learning Lucovsky was leaving to take a job at Google, Ballmer picked up his chair and hurled it across his office, according to the declaration.
"I'm going to f...... bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again,"the declaration quotes Ballmer. "I'm going to f...... kill Google."
In a statement on Friday, Ballmer described Lucovsky's recollection as a "gross exaggeration. Mark's decision to leave was disappointing and I urged him strongly to change his mind.
But his characterisation of that meeting is not accurate."
Mountain View--based Google has depicted Microsoft's lawsuit as a form of intimidation designed to thwart a fast--growing rival that has emerged as a formidable threat to the Redmond, Washshington--based software maker.
Microsoft won the first round in the case in late July when King County Superior Court Judge Steven Gonzalez issued an order temporarily barring Lee from performing the duties that Google hired him to do.
The two rivals are scheduled to face off in court Tuesday when Microsoft will ask Gonzalez to extend the order against Lee and Google until the case goes to trial in January.