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Microsoft office in Greece attacked with bomb

Unknown assailants drive a van through Microsoft's Athens office and set off a firebomb. Happily, no one is injured.

GlobalNewz/YouTube Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Greece is currently enduring a period of unrest, while Microsoft is enjoying something of a renaissance.

But this surely cannot be the reason why, today in Athens, three men reportedly removed two security guards at gunpoint from Microsoft's offices there before reversing a van through the front door and setting off an incendiary device. The men escaped, reportedly with the help of accomplices.

Reuters reported that the incident took place at 4:45 a.m. local time, which might suggest that the intention was to spare human life and merely create physical damage.

Various groups of disgruntled Greeks have, for years, set off devices in places where power resides. Of the more multinational companies, Starbucks, McDonald's, and Citi have been targets.

Some, though, might be wondering "Why Microsoft?" and "Why today?"

If the Greeks have any current bete noire, it is Germany. That country seems to be doing much to force the Greeks into performing hideous acts of financial restraint, after the Greek economy imploded like Microsoft Vista. The more insensitive might therefore wonder whether German companies might have been more logical targets.

Logic may not play a role here. One imagines that Microsoft was identified just because it is a famous multinational name.

A Microsoft representative told the AP that there had been no warning of the attack, nor any communication of threat. Microsoft's general manager in Greece, Ernst Jan Stigter, told Reuters: "We're grateful there were no injuries and all our crew is safe."

Some Greeks seem to be quite sanguine and resigned about this type of attack. Here's an example of such an attitude from one of my more macabre Greek friends: "This was the work of people frustrated that they still don't know the price or launch date of Microsoft's new Surface tablet."