Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has been quoted in a couple of stories on the implications of Google’s deal to buy YouTube for $1.65 billion.
Is YouTube worth the money? “If you believe it’s the future of television, it’s clearly worth $1.6 billion,” Ballmer said in this New York Times story. “If you believe something else, you could write down maybe it’s not worth much at all.”
BusinessWeek hashed out the implications of the deal for Google’s competitors, including Microsoft. Ballmer happened to be meeting with the magazine’s editors Monday.
Ballmer said Google could emerge from the YouTube deal an even stronger rival. If Google can work out a good advertising model with YouTube, he said, it makes Google a stronger competitor to Microsoft. It will have a larger share of the growing online ad market, and can use the cash to create more products like the free online spreadsheet software, calendars and word processors it already offers. But Ballmer said Microsoft has a long-term strategy, not to mention a history of coming from behind to overtake rivals such as Netscape, the early leader in the browser market. “We’re very long-term. We’ve got a stick-to-it-iveness, a tenaciousness that I would argue is unmatched,” he said.