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Microsoft's battering ram is coming

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said he aims for No. 1 in the markets where the Redmond giant operates. And if they aren't there yet, watch out for the battering ram.

It had momentum. It had the chant. But in the end, Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer didn't get off his stage chair to do "the developers dance."

Ballmer, who delivered a keynote speech Wednesday at Software 2007, was on a roll when answering a question poised by Madhavan "M.R." Rangaswami, the founder and moderator of the event.

Ballmer, who spoke of the value of Microsoft's Office Business Applications, came alive when asked about Microsoft's drive to strive for dominance in markets it competes.

"It's hard for me to run a company that doesn't aspire to be No. 1...and in those markets that we aren't, we are willing to be patient, said Ballmer, who then launched into a passionate retort, "We'll keep coming, and coming, and coming, and coming...and where we aren't No. 1, maybe someday we will be."

Does the image of a battering ram come to mind?

On the issue of a possible Yahoo-Microsoft acquisition, Ballmer's response to Rangaswami's question was more opaque.

Without mentioning the name of a recently rumored Microsoft acquisition candidate, Rangaswami asked Ballmer if the software giant would consider swallowing a $40 billion company, or stick to smaller deals.

Ballmer responded with a non-committal comment that Microsoft typically has not acquired large companies in relation to its massive size, but, then again, its willing to snap up deals that fulfill its ambitions.