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Microsoft CEO backs Web spending, "done" with Yahoo

1:05 am on Jul 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

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REDMOND, Washington (Reuters) - Chief Executive Steve Ballmer on Thursday defended Microsoft Corp's need to make heavy investments in its Internet businesses but said the company was "done," for now, with pursuing Yahoo Inc.

"There's nothing under discussion between the two of us," Ballmer told investors of how six months of various talks had reached an impasse earlier in July.

"We had a set of principles, we talked about them, it didn't work out," he said. "Fine, we're done. We can move on."

The message for Microsoft's annual meeting with Wall Street analysts, an all-day affair at its headquarters in Redmond, Washington, was that it had a post-Yahoo plan to turn around its online services division and a strategy to take advantage of future opportunities, even as its Internet chief departs.

Reuters [news.yahoo.com]

4:41 am on July 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Microsoft's online division has posted eight straight quarters of losses. It lost $1.23 billion in the past fiscal year, twice as much as it had lost in fiscal 2007 and about 5.5 percent of Microsoft's total operating income.

What amazes me as I read news stories about Microsoft is that I have never -- not once -- heard anyone in authority in Redmond say "we are going to hire the very top engineers and invest whatever it takes to build the best search engine on the internet."

There's a reason why people are not using their service, and they might be surprised to learn that if they build it, profits will come...