Ballmer On How They "MSN You" in Holland, Korea & Google Was Curing Cancer

Gary wrote earlier of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer recently denying any chair throwing at a conference, but Good Morning Silicon Valley highlighted another quote from Ballmer that caught my eye: "People say 'I'm going to MSN you' in Holland and Korea."

Really? I'm still sort of reeling in disbelief from the entire A9d it mention on the OC earlier this year. I thought perhaps Ballmer was referring to MSN Messenger. I can more readily see people in Holland or Korea saying they "MSN you" and meaning sending an instant message. Heck, I could see anyone anywhere saying that. But the story quoting Ballmer makes it clear this was about web search, as I've bolded:

He pointed to the strength of Microsoft's MSN brand outside of the United States as proof that the company is making strides in the Web search market. "People say 'I'm going to MSN you' in Holland and Korea.

I couldn't resist adding to this other comment he made about Google:

If you read the papers today, other than curing cancer, Google will do everything.

Actually, Google WAS curing cancer at one time. Google Compute, launched back in 2002, let Google Toolbar users donate processor time to Folding@home, a Stanford protein research project with cancer cures as one of its goals.

Interestingly, I guess Google stopped providing this support around 2003. That's the copyright at the bottom of the Google Compute page, which says the toolbar no longer can be used to help the project. Hmm -- opportunity perhaps for Microsoft?

Postscript: Reader Dennis Pallet who lives in Holland writes:

I just read your blog entry about how Dutch people say "I'm going to MSN you" when they talking about MSN web search, but this is absolute nonsense.

I live in The Netherlands myself, and most people have never even heard of MSN Search. The phrase refers to MSN Messenger. Almost everyone here seems to think MSN = MSN Messenger, and don't even know about the MSN brand.

Like I said, the story made the quote out as if it was a reference to web search, but perhaps there was some confusion. It certainly makes a lot more sense to hear it being connected to MSN Messenger.