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At MIX08 Microsoft outlined one of its chief objectives-- catching Google

Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer delivered a wild keynote at Microsoft's MIX08 Web Developers conference.  It was filled with barking, screaming, and some interesting insight on Microsoft's plans.  One of the more interesting facets of the keynote was Ballmer's analysis of the Microsoft-Google rivalry and things to come.

Ballmer pledged even if its his "last breath" at the company that Microsoft would gain marketshare against Google in web advertising and the search market.  He said the easiest way for this occur would obviously be if Yahoo shareholders accepted Microsoft's $41.2B USD unsolicited hostile takeover offer.

Ballmer said of his personal efforts and those of Microsoft's, "So it may be my last breath at Microsoft, but we're going to be there, working away, building share."

Then Ballmer quipped, "In online, yeah, it's Google, Google, Google, and we're in the game. We're just the little engine that could."

Some may notice that Microsoft's offer for Yahoo has actually decreased down to $41.2B USD from $44.6B USD.  This is due to Microsoft's stock slide, as the offer is half cash and half stock.  However, at this point Yahoo shareholders may not care, as the offer still remains healthily above share prices.  Says Ballmer, "We've made an offer, and it's out there, baby!"

Ballmer said that if successful, Microsoft-Yahoo would look to eliminate overlapping services to stay competitive with Google.  He stated, "We shouldn't have two of everything. It won't make sense to have two search services, two advertising services, two mail services, and we will have to sort some of that through."

Host Guy Kawaski, former Apple employee turned capital-investor, wasn't afraid of bringing up some painful moments in Ballmer's history.  When he brought up Google, he feigned fear and told Ballmer, "Don't pick up a chair and throw it at me,"  referencing a lawsuit against Ballmer from an employee who left Microsoft for Google.  The employee claimed that Ballmer picked up a chair and threw it at him in anger.

CE Ballmer wasn't throwing any chairs, this time.  However his words serve as an interesting reminder on two key topics -- the decreased valuation of the Microsoft-Yahoo offer and Microsoft's do-or-die attitude in its battle against Google.




"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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