Boxing, war, and modern business... what do these three activities have in common? The obvious answer is that all three take place in competitive environments in which there will be clear winners. Sun Tzu's treatise "The Art of War" not only describes these environments, but also asserts a way to win and analytical method to predict a winner. Once one understands these predictable outcomes, then positioning oneself to be the winner becomes easy.
We can all agree that conflict is wasteful. But what if the competitor starts the conflict? If their attack produces a dissipating situation, you have said that there is no good defense and that the correct response is to attack what the competitor values. Doesn't this escalate into the conflict we wish to avoid? How do we actually avoid conflict (or wars of attrition) if attacked? Is this what has happened between Google and Microsoft? Regardless of how this battle began, how can either side defend properly against further attack?