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Microsoft Corp Chief Executive Steve Ballmer pledged that the company would gain share against Google Inc in online advertising and Web searching, even if it’s his “last breath” at the company.
“So it may be my last breath at Microsoft, but we’re going to be there, working away, building share,” said Ballmer during a bantering question-and-answer session with Guy Kawasaki, a venture capitalist and one of the first employees at Apple Inc.”In online, yeah, it’s Google, Google, Google, and we’re in the game. We’re just the little engine that could,” joked Ballmer, whose company is the world’s largest software maker.
In the wide-ranging chat with Kawasaki, Ballmer addressed criticism about Windows Vista, launched a few subtle jabs at Apple, and even re-enacted an infamous dance that earned him Web video fame and earned him the unflattering nickname of “Monkey Boy” in some Internet circles.
“We’ve made an offer, and it’s out there, baby,” said Ballmer. The deal was originally worth $44.6 billion, but Microsoft’s stock slide has pushed down its value. The Microsoft CEO said if a deal should go through, the two companies will look to reduce overlapping areas.”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,” said Ballmer.
Kawasaki did not hesitate to bring up past embarrassing moments for Ballmer, including references in an lawsuit that claimed Ballmer threw a chair at a former employee who said he was leaving Microsoft for Google. “Don’t pick up a chair and throw it at me,” Kawasaki said with a laugh. “Don’t go monkey on me either.”