Report: Ballmer says Yahoo announcement coming 'in very short order'

Silicon Alley Insider quotes Ballmer from a Microsoft employees' conference call on his company's plans. He also indicates he's willing to walk if Yahoo asks for too much.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says he knows exactly what Yahoo is worth and isn't willing to go a dime over that, Silicon Alley Insider reported Thursday.

Ballmer, speaking to Microsoft employees in a so-called town hall conference call Thursday, also said an announcement regarding Yahoo is coming "in very short order," the blog site reported. But what he meant by that is unclear, since he also noted that he had "nothing to say today." A reporter for Silicon Alley Insider apparently listened in on the call.

Balllmer says he knows what Yahoo is worth. Dan Farber/CNET

Ballmer also didn't put a price tag to what he thinks Yahoo is worth, but his comments may indicate that talks between the two companies are still going on. The Yahoo comments came up during a question-and-answer session in which he reiterated Microsoft's three options: Make a friendly deal, go hostile, or walk away.

The Microsoft chief exec also explained to his employees that Microsoft needs Yahoo in order to gain scale in the online market. "(Yahoo) accelerates scale. Gets us more advertisers, gets us search. Yahoo's not a strategy. It's a part of a strategy. We're interested in paying for it at some level, and beyond that level we're not willing to pay for it," Ballmer said, according to Alley Insider.

Interestingly, Ballmer seems to believe that on the Internet, many people would think of his company as the underdog as it tries to play catchup with Google. "The world," he said, "is rooting for us."

Tech Culture
About the author

Jim Kerstetter has been writing about the high-tech industry since the 1990s. He has been a senior editor at PC Week and a Silicon Valley correspondent at BusinessWeek. He is now senior executive editor at CNET News. He moved back to Boston because he missed the Red Sox. E-mail Jim.


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