Ballmer backs Obama, seeks 'sense of optimism'

During a visit Down Under, Microsoft's CEO says he has confidence in the leadership of the U.S. president-elect and hopes to see a "positive psychology loop" return.

Renai LeMay Special to CNET News
2 min read

During a whirlwind visit to Sydney, Australia, Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer this week said he has confidence in President-elect Barack Obama's leadership.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer talks to developers in Sydney. Microsoft

Obama's decisive victory this week over Republican rival John McCain in the U.S. presidential elections has been broadly hailed by technology leaders as potentially beneficial to the country's technology and communications industries.

"I have a lot of faith in our system and our electoral process, and I think President-elect Obama understands that there's a deep set of economic issues, and I have confidence in his leadership," Ballmer said on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Lateline program, in response to a question on how he thought Obama's win would help Corporate America.

The full text of the Lateline interview, along with a video of the broadcast, can be found here.

Ballmer said the global economic crisis "definitely affected" the IT industry, with IT spending being 50 percent of overall capital spending, and PCs being one of the more expensive things that most people buy for their homes.

"The No. 1 thing we actually need now is to sort of restore a positive sense of optimism," he said.

"I actually think to some degree...negativity feeds on negativity. And I trust at least in my home country, the U.S., with the presidential election behind us, maybe we can get into a positive psychology loop," Ballmer added.

In the rest of the interview, Ballmer mainly appeared to reiterate comments he made in Sydney earlier this week regarding the need for Australia to adopt fast broadband, as well as about the future of computing and pending new Microsoft products such as Windows 7 and Azure.

The full video of Ballmer's speech to developers in Sydney yesterday is also online.

Renai LeMay of ZDNet Autralia reported from Sydney.