[head shakes in disbelief]

I saw this posted as an update from Groklaw.

A team of Microsoft spokespeople have been working throughout the day to devise a plausible explanation for a comment made by CEO Steve Ballmer during a company gathering in the UK, which on its face appears to say it is considering litigation against users of Red Hat Linux for patent infringement.
But one spokesperson acknowledged late this afternoon that multiple sources have yet to come to an agreement over what the company should say.

I think I said something to the effect of

Unfortunately, it appears that MSFT also has some baggage which, I am assuming, makes more than a few of them shake their heads in disgust in private.

just a few days ago. Turns out that it doesn’t appear to be just in private.
The Microsoft folks could do great things in the HPC space if there was a little less NIH and a bit more “hey lets work with the community”. Unfortunately, with a CEO making statements like this, it is a little hard to convince the community that you want to, I dunno, work with them as opposed to suing them.
Maybe this cognitive dissonance can be addressed internally at MSFT. Having a team of PR types run around attempting to impart high spin states to fairly unambiguous language can’t be fun for anyone.
Sort of reminds me of this section of a Monty Python skit:

Your Highness, you are also like a stream of bat’s piss.
PRINCE: What?!?
WHISTLER: It was one of Wilde’s. One of Wilde’s.
OSCAR: It sodding was not! It was Shaw!
SHAW: I… I merely meant, Your Majesty, that you shine out like a shaft of gold when all around is dark.
PRINCE (accepting the compliment): Oh.

The difference of course is that the Monty Python skit was funny.