Ballmer's memo to his troops

In an e-mail to staff, Microsoft's chief gushes over Yahoo, while urging employees to try and keep their minds on business as usual while Microsoft pursues its target.

Note: Here's the text of the e-mail Steve Ballmer sent to Microsoft employees on Friday, following its $44.6 billion bid to buy Yahoo.

Subject line: Proposed Acquisition of Yahoo!

Today, I am very excited to announce that Microsoft has made a proposal to acquire Yahoo. This announcement represents a big opportunity for Microsoft, and is the next major milestone in our companywide transformation to embrace online services, search, and advertising.

By combining the strengths of our companies, we can deliver an efficient and highly competitive offering for our customers. Our complementary assets will give us increased talent and scale to compete in the markets of search and online advertising, and pioneer new innovations in the areas of video, mobile services, online commerce, and social media.

This year, online advertising is a $40 billion business. It will grow to $80 billion by 2010 and will continue to increase in the years beyond. This market provides a significant growth opportunity for Microsoft--our ability to provide the best search and online experiences for consumers, and the best ad platform for publishers and advertisers, is the key to unlocking this opportunity.

We are on a good path with our existing search and advertising product roadmaps. To date, we have made progress in our organic online services and advertising efforts, and by joining with Yahoo, we will take the next step toward becoming a major search destination and social platform for consumers. The combined reach of our content properties and combined breadth of our tools for advertisers will enable us to provide an online advertising platform at scale. Together, we'll create a company that is in a much better position to compete against an increasingly dominant player in this market.

Through our recent acquisitions of Aquantive and Tellme, we understand what it takes to successfully integrate new talent, assets, and infrastructure into our company. Leaders from both Microsoft and Yahoo will work together closely on the integration process to ensure that we are thoughtful about the questions we ask and the decisions we make. As we move forward, we'll look carefully at how to bring our assets together to create the greatest value for customers, employees, and shareholders.

During this transition period, I urge you to stay focused on your commitments and team goals. We are committed to communicating with you frequently as our leadership team works on bringing the two companies together.

As I outlined in my quarterly strategy e-mail last week, we grow by anticipating new areas where software has the greatest potential to create opportunities. The proposed acquisition of Yahoo will transform our ability to compete as new opportunities in online services, search, and advertising emerge.

I am very excited about today's announcement and about the collective talent and energy we will bring to the industry. A great opportunity is in front of us to evolve how people and businesses create, find, and use information. Through today's proposed acquisition, we can take our business to new levels of success and growth.

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About the author

    During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried has changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley. These days, most of her attention is focused on Microsoft. E-mail Ina.

     

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