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Microsoft CEO Ballmer bullish on 'new economy'

By Matthew Shaer / September 30, 2009



In an open email to executives posted on the Microsoft site, CEO Steve Ballmer said he was optimistic about the future of the IT industry, despite the tumultuous state of the international economy.

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"I’m optimistic because there are encouraging signs that growth may resume in many parts of the world during the course of the next year," Ballmer wrote. "More than that, I’m optimistic because I believe we are entering a period of technology-driven transformation that will see a surge in productivity and a flowering of innovation."

Ballmer, who saw his overall compensation decrease by a reported 5.5 percent this year, acknowledged the difficulties of the current fiscal climate.

"In all the talk about the economy," Ballmer wrote, "one term that comes up more and more frequently is something called 'the new normal.' I like this phrase because it speaks to the fact that economic reality has undergone a fundamental shift over the course of the past 12 months."

In April, Microsoft reported the first year-over-year revenue drop in company history. Still, Ballmer has at least one reason to be bullish – the Bing search engine, which was first unveiled this spring, has performed well above expectations.

According to the media tracking company comScore, Bing claimed 9.3 percent of the US search market share in August. As Bing has netted more traffic, Microsoft has thrown more marketing power behind the search engine. A new batch of figures released by Nielsen put Bing as the fastest growing search engine in the United States.

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