This year in IT has been anything but dull, as industry titans Bill Gates and Scott McNealy prepared to exit stage right, longtime bitter foes Novell and Microsoft cuddled up, and Hewlett-Packard saw a spying scandal shred its reputation.There was plenty of commentary to accompany all that activity, so let\u2019s check out some of the most quote-worthy artifacts from IDG News Service stories.Good night, and good luck"I\u2019m thrilled not to have to be CEO anymore. That was a temporary thing that I took on about 22 years ago." \u2014 Scott McNealy on handing over Sun Microsystems chief executive officer (CEO) honors to ponytailed whippersnapper President Jonathan Schwartz. McNealy appeared upbeat despite having failed to fully reverse the company\u2019s poor financial performance. (May 19)\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nBill Gates"The world has had a tendency to focus a disproportionate amount of attention on me."\u00a0\u2014 Bill Gates, claiming he won\u2019t be missed all that much as he steps away from his daily chief software architect role at Microsoft come July 2008 to focus on his charity organization. Gates will remain as company chairman "indefinitely." (June 15)Sure, we love Linux, we just love Windows more"If you want something, I\u2019m still going to tell you [to buy] Windows, Windows, Windows."\u00a0\u2014 Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, aiming to "bridge the divide" between open-source and proprietary software with a surprise partnership with Novell. Sounds like he hasn\u2019t got that whole co-opetition thing straight yet. Ditto on what the whole lovefest means for patents, with the vendors differing on their interpretations of what the deal will mean. (Nov. 2)"I prefer to be an optimist, and will happily take the option that not everybody needs to be enemies."\u00a0\u2014 Mr. Maverick himself, Linus Torvalds, the creator of the Linux kernel, with his sunny take on Microsoft\/Novell, at odds with the disgust voiced by many in the open-source community with the Suse distributor. (Nov. 2)Could\u2019ve, would\u2019ve, should\u2019ve ... didn\u2019t\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nHP CEO Mark Hurd"I understand there is also a written report of the investigation addressed to me and others, but I did not read it. I could have, and I should have."\u00a0\u2014 Mark Hurd, Hewlett-Packard\u2019s embattled CEO, stating the obvious over his failure to peruse key information describing the company\u2019s bizarre attempts to unearth the source who leaked board-level confidences. (Sept. 22)"If I knew then what I know now, I would have done things differently."\u00a0\u2014 Patricia Dunn, HP\u2019s former chairwoman, testifying before a U.S. Congress subcommittee about those techniques Hurd didn\u2019t bother to look into, which included pretexting. Forced out of HP in the wake of the spy scandal, Dunn continues to maintain the methods were legal. After all, she was assured of their legality by HP\u2019s own lawyers. (Sept. 28)Touching evil"We actually did an evil scale and decided not to serve at all was worse evil."\u00a0\u2014 Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, about the yearlong soul-searching process that the company went through before deciding to offer a censored version of its services in China. Google famously espouses the "don\u2019t be evil" credo. (Jan. 27)That competitive spirit"We will compete like gentlemen. We\u2019ll come in with swords, not bombs and guns, and fence."\u00a0\u2014 Shai Agassi, president of SAP\u2019s product and technology group, describing how the vendor is balancing a desire to stomp all over Microsoft in the small to midsize business applications market while simultaneously cuddling up to the Redmond Rampager to make sweet music around their joint Duet product. (May 22)"This is capitalism; we\u2019re competing."\u00a0\u2014 Larry Ellison, Oracle\u2019s CEO, giving his spin on why his company is offering "enterprise support" for Red Hat\u2019s Linux distribution\u2014other than push down Red Hat\u2019s share price and potentially put the vendor out of business, that is. (Oct. 25).Telling it like it is\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nMary Ann Davidson"I think my response was, \u2018What idiot dreamed this up?\u2019 "\u00a0\u2014 Mary Ann Davidson, Oracle\u2019s chief security officer, in typically blunt manner, remembering her reaction to the company\u2019s scheme to brand its databases as "unbreakable." (May 25)"Anybody [in the Internet space] who wasn\u2019t interested in YouTube was either asleep or not being honest."\u00a0\u2014 Jonathan Miller, AOL chairman and CEO, regretting that Google, not his company, bought the video-sharing startup. Less than a week later, Miller was out of a job as Time Warner replaced him with veteran television executive Randy Falco. (Nov. 9)The batteries and the bees"It\u2019s kind of like impregnating someone. It only takes one, so the more of them there are, the more likely that you\u2019ll impregnate someone,"\u00a0\u2014 Rick Clancy, a Sony spokesman, indulging in some plain speaking as to how short circuits caused by microscopic metal particles in the vendor\u2019s lithium ion batteries led to a handful of laptops catching fire. The result? A series of major recalls of millions of Sony batteries. (Aug. 15)Waxing poetic"Enterprise search software is so clearly bereft of soul." \u2014 Dave Girouard, vice president and general manager for Google\u2019s enterprise business, on how high-end search needs to take a\u00a0page out of consumer search\u2019s book and focus more on the needs of end users. (April 24)"I think there was a good balance between different hair and beard lengths."\u00a0\u2014 Kaj Arno, vice president of community relations with MySQL, in a colorful description of the cross-section of attendees at the Free Software Foundation\u2019s First International Conference for GPLv3. (Jan. 23)Slicing off the fat"We had become bloated. It\u2019s like middle-age spread. You don\u2019t know how it happens, but one day you look down and it\u2019s there."\u00a0\u2014 Donald MacDonald, vice president and general manager of Intel\u2019s digital home group, as he patted his belly, graphically describing the chip giant\u2019s attempts to slim down its 100,000-strong work force. (July 18)Shedding some light under the financial covers\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nApple\u2019s Steve Jobs"You can talk about the negatives of 4 to 5 percent market share, but it\u2019s kind of like being in the ocean. We\u2019re on the bottom, so it doesn\u2019t matter what the weather is like up top."\u00a0\u2014 Steve Jobs, Apple Computer CEO, trying to allay shareholders\u2019 concerns about his company while suggesting he might have spent a little too much time watching his animation studio Pixar\u2019s Finding Nemo movie. (April 27)"What the chief accountant creates is a work of art."\u00a0\u2014 Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, defining most financial reporting as less of a historical record and much more of a forecast. Perhaps that\u2019s why so many IT companies fell foul of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission this year, particularly in relation to past practices around the granting of employee stock options. (Nov. 9)-China Martens, IDG News Service (Boston Bureau)Check out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.