The best insights, observations, comments and random zingers we heard this week.

“That (Microsoft) is gone. In its place is a slow moving, uncompetitive, over the hill oaf that has been left behind by Google, Apple, and a small army of new more nimble competitors. Google isn’t losing sleep over Bing. It’s what they would have chosen for a competitor: ineffectual, money losing, but backed by a big enough company that they can claim its competition everytime the DOJ threatens an inquiry.” — A GeekWire reader commenting on Bing’s rise in the search rankings, now just behind Yahoo at 15 percent.

“It is amazing to pause and look back at what we’ve accomplished as a company this year, from our incredible product momentum to the formation of several powerful partnerships and the overall strength of our leadership team. And you know I’m a look-forward kind of person, so when I look forward to 2012, I see even more opportunity and potential in what we have planned.” –Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in a memo announcing changes in the leadership of Windows Phone.

Paul Allen won't likely be on the test flight for the Stratolaunch

“I think I’m going to wait for a large number of those flights to happen before I’ll be on one. I’m actually a fairly conservative guy in some aspects.” –Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen responding to a question about whether he’d consider taking a ride on the Stratolaunch, the billionaire’s new space venture.

“It’s almost as if VCs in Seattle don’t want to take risk, at all. They have to understand everything in a way that you’ve removed all risk from the equation before they invest.” — Entrepreneur Chris Kemp sharing his views on the differences between Seattle and Silicon Valley.

Seattle angel investor Bill Bryant

“As one of those pathetic, lazy, risk averse Seattle VCs that apparently wouldn’t give Mr. Kemp the time of day I wish him the best of luck in his new startup.  But I do get more than a little tired of comparing the Seattle venture capital scene to the Bay Area.  Over 80% of the venture dollars are base in Silicon Valley; the Bay Area consistently accounts for 1/3rd to 50% of all venture investments.  So no, Seattle is not as vibrant a startup community as is the Bay Area.  We also aren’t as vibrant a movie making community as LA, nor do we turn out media, fashion, finance and advertising companies like NYC.  We’re also well behind in livestock rearing as compared to Kansas City.  Yet despite the fact that we’re lazy and risk adverse, and thus miss out on the Nebulas, Box.nets and Twilios of the world, it’s still a far better environment for startups than its ever been, and I daresay is better than life as an entrepreneur in any city not named San Francisco, San Jose or NYC.  I hope Nebula makes a lot of employees very wealthy so Seattle can one day earn Mr Kemp’s respect.”–Seattle venture capitalist and angel investor Bill Bryant responding to Kemp’s remarks on GeekWire.

“I love driving while talking on the phone, texting, surfing the net, checking email, eating, clipping my nails, playing with my dog, taking photos etc… any excuse I can find to drive with my knees really. Knee driving is underrated. The ban on even hands-free is crazy. Basically gives police the excuse to pull over anyone they ‘suspect is talking on the phone,’ but will commonly be mistaken for: reciting lines for your play, talking to your dog, singing, chewing gum obnoxiously, yawning and who knows what else. Way to make everyone criminals NTSB.” –GeekWire reader Kyle Kesterson commenting on the National Transportation Safety Board’s call for a complete ban on cell phone use in the car.

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