Guy Kawasaki asked Steve Ballmer about Microsoft’s “ashtray size” bet on Facebook. Again, it’s about advertising and the belief that a few key sites will have an outsize impact on the future of the Web and online advertising, Ballmer said. Neither Ballmer nor Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was involved in negotiating the specifics of the deal, Ballmer said.
Later, Kawasaki asked, “What’s the Microsoft perspective on social networking? Is it a fad? What is it?”
Ballmer: “The notion that people are going to use the Internet more and more richly and more and more deeply to stay in touch with their friends, to make new friends, that’s not a fad. There’s no question that’s not a fad. The fundamental nature of how people socialize is changed forever.”
The business models for social networking will continue to evolve, however.
Check out our complete coverage of Ballmer’s Q&A with Guy Kawasaki.