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Ballmer Behind Bars
18 November 2004 10:14 UTC
SEATTLE (Reuters) -- Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer was arrested and remanded into police custody today as he returned from a trip to the Orient. He was charged with being ugly and without redeeming social characteristic.
'We've put up with this butt-head, his ugly face, and his big fat mouth too long', an anonymous source within the Seattle prosecutor's office said. 'We felt it was time to take action.'
The surprise move comes on the heels of the MS CEO's latest controversy, where he told a group of far east government representatives that he would make them pay for their lack of loyalty to Microsoft in abandoning Windows and embracing open source software and Linux.
'Linux violates 228 or more patents - maybe as many as a gazillion', the executive told the assembled crowd, but refused to provide any details.
Last month the Singapore Ministry of Defence, tired of false promises and incessant vulnerabilities in their base of Microsoft software, moved 20,000 of their personal computers to Linux and other open source products. China, Japan and South Korea had earlier agreed to jointly develop open source applications to run on Linux.
The Chinese government have also expressed worries that Microsoft products have secret back doors which could give US military centres the ability to access the Chinese networks and disable them.
But security is not an issue, certainly not with Microsoft products, Ballmer said, and certainly not for more than the next year or two. In a final statement destined to push hatred of himself and his company beyond critical mass, he concluded:
'We think our software is far more secure than open source software. It is more secure because we stand behind it, we fixed it, because we built it. Nobody ever knows who built open source software.'
At the same time security research corporations Secunia and Sophos released details of two further vulnerabilities in Microsoft's latest version of Internet Explorer, bringing the total for only the past two months to 19.
'The trouble with Ballmer is he still thinks he's a cheerleader', a detective with the Seattle police said. 'With basketball you can stir up the home crowd to a fever pitch and intimidate the visiting team - it can be decisive to the outcome of a game. With software, no amount of shouting makes the code any better.'
Ballmer was later released on bail of $5 million and escorted by his attorneys to the home of his mother where he will be staying until the outcome of the trial.
'I have but four words for you', he told reporters on the steps of the police station where he had been held. 'I LOVE MY COMPANY!'
The controversy casts uncertainty on the Microsoft chairman's Hollywood debut where pre-production was already underway for the much anticipated sequel to the Planet of the Apes tentatively titled 'Fat Ugly Monkey On Crack'.