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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

Category: Yahoo acquisition
March 19, 2009 at 1:02 PM

Ballmer reiterates interest in Yahoo, says tide turned on Apple, would relish IBM-Sun deal

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was in New York for an on-stage interview with BusinessWeek editor-in-chief Stephen Alder as part of the McGraw-Hill Media Summit today. He made some interesting comments on Yahoo, Apple, a potential Sun-IBM tie up. But there was no fundamental change in his position. That didn’t stop the Web-cast interview from making headlines, which may have buoyed Yahoo’s shares (Microsoft was up a bit, too) against a day of measured decline wrapping up on Wall Street. At the close Microsoft: Up 18 cents, 1 percent, to $17.14. Yahoo: Up 32 cents, 2.4 percent, to $13.74. Nasdaq: Down 0.52 percent. Dow: Down 1.2 percent.

Here’s a summary of his comments:

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Comments | More in Apple, Steve Ballmer, Yahoo acquisition

February 24, 2009 at 6:15 AM

Microsoft Strategic Update: Ballmer tells Wall Street more dramatic cost cutting would be ‘imprudent’

With Microsoft’s Redmond campus largely emptied out for the winter holidays, CEO Steve Ballmer crunched the numbers on the proper level of spending for his company against the current economic climate, which he has repeatedly referred to as a “reset” rather than just a recession. Ballmer said his own estimates for the weakness and duration of the downturn tend to be more severe than those of other business leaders he meets.

With that in mind, he settled on $27.5 billion of operating expenses — a level the company aims to hold relatively steady through the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, and during its 2010 fiscal year. Ballmer made clear to financial analysts meeting in New York this morning for the company’s annual strategic update that cutting back even more significantly — say to $20 billion — would be “imprudent.”

“I think this is right,” Ballmer said.

That should give some comfort to those wondering if the modest layoffs Microsoft announced last month were the beginning of a more significant reduction. Wall Street analysts and investors are pressuring companies in every industry to continue cutting costs as sales and profits slow dramatically.

The strategic update call just came to an end. Ballmer gave a detailed look at seven major business areas for the company. Check back here later this morning for more details.

Update, 7:50 a.m.: As he told Congressional Democrats earlier this month, Ballmer said Microsoft’s corporate strategists have been evaluating past downturns — particularly those driven by “deleveraging.” The team read company annual reports from 1927 to 1938 to determine who did a good job managing through the Great Depression. “RCA, God rest them in peace, became our role model,” Ballmer said. The company was able to dominate the television business because it continued to invest during bad times, he said.

Then he broke down how Microsoft plans to invest.

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Comments | More in Advertising, Apple, Enterprise, Financial, Games & entertainment, Google, Microsoft layoffs, Mobile, Office, Online services, Open source, Search, Server and tools, Steve Ballmer, Strategy, Tech Economy, Windows, Windows 7, Windows Azure, Windows Mobile, Xbox 360, Yahoo acquisition, Zune

January 28, 2009 at 10:38 AM

Bartz on selling parts of Yahoo: ‘This is not a company that needs to be pulled apart and left for the chickens’

Carol Bartz, Yahoo’s new CEO, was peppered Tuesday with questions about a potential search deal with Microsoft or another go at partnering with AOL-Time Warner. Here are some of her choice exchanges with financial analysts during a conference call after the Internet company reported a loss in the fourth quarter.

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Comments | More in Personalities, Search, Yahoo, Yahoo acquisition

January 26, 2009 at 11:22 AM

Reviewing a year of the Microsoft-Yahoo saga

So much has changed in a year, but one thing remains the same. Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, still covets Yahoo’s share of the Internet search and advertising market. While an outright acquisition is off the table — and has been since last spring — Ballmer remains interested in a search partnership, as his…

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January 16, 2009 at 4:17 PM

Search market largely unchanged in December as Yahoo, Microsoft execs meet

ComScore’s U.S. Internet search share report shows the major players had were little changed in December. Google is still the leader, far and away, with 63.5 percent of the market, unchanged from November. Yahoo, according to comScore, gained a smidge to 20.5 percent. Microsoft continued along in third place with 8.3 percent. Meanwhile, More

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January 13, 2009 at 10:16 AM

WSJ: Yahoo has picked its new CEO, Carol Bartz

<img src=”http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/ABPub/2009/01/13/2008623156.jpg” width=”200″ class=”pic” /> AUTODESK Carol Bartz, reportedly the next Yahoo CEO. The Wall Street Journal reports that Yahoo, after a two-month search, has a new chief executive. Jerry Yang’s replacement will be Carol Bartz, former CEO of Autodesk, the paper reports, citing people familiar with the matter. [Update, 2:55 p.m.: It’s official.] The installation of a new CEO…

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Comments | More in Coming and going, Yahoo, Yahoo acquisition

January 8, 2009 at 6:53 PM

Ballmer addresses Yahoo search deal questions in CES interviews

Nearly a full year has passed since Microsoft opened its campaign to acquire Yahoo, and later, just its Internet search business. In interviews published today, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer gave his latest thinking on the matter appears to has changed little in months: He’s interested in buying just Yahoo’s search business.

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January 7, 2009 at 12:13 PM

Report: Silicon Valley execs, bankers crafting proposal to buy Yahoo, sell search to Microsoft

If this comes to pass, it’s a great scoop for Tech Crunch: The Web site is reporting on a complex proposal by “well known Silicon Valley executives and top investment bankers” to seek financing from Microsoft for a purchase of Yahoo. They would immediately sell Yahoo’s search business, which Microsoft has coveted publicly for nearly a year now, to Microsoft and install a new executive team to operate Yahoo.

[Update, 2:09 p.m.: A Microsoft spokesman said the company is not commenting on the report.]

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December 4, 2008 at 1:33 PM

Qi Lu, former Yahoo search exec, appointed president of Microsoft’s Online Services business

MICROSOFT

Meet the new boss: Former Yahoo Qi Lu to lead Microsoft Online Services Group.

Just announced: “Microsoft Corp. today announced that Dr. Qi Lu will join the company as president of the Online Services Group. Dr. Lu will lead Microsoft’s efforts in search and online advertising and all the company’s online information and communications services. Dr. Lu will report to Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer.”

Brian McAndrews, senior vice president of the Microsoft Advertiser and Publisher Solutions group, is leaving the company, Microsoft said in a statement.

Updates throughout at 1:59 p.m.

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Comments | More in Coming and going, Online services, Search, Steve Ballmer, Strategy, Yahoo, Yahoo acquisition

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