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Ballmer Doesn’t Dance May 4, 2006

Posted by David Card in Media.
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Just because I could steal this AP photo easily. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer really didn’t say much at the Strategic Accounts Summit. He said “Advertisers, advertisers, advertisers,” but not at monkey dance volume. (He warned against actions that could be captured on video and spread online.)

He said MSN’s R&D spending — that’s MSN, not Microsoft — was $500M in FY05, then $700M, and projected $1.1 billion in FY07. Here’s what he’s spending it on (well, actually, “investment areas”, and some probably don’t count as R&D), according to his slides and talk:

– User experience (as in Live services)
– Content
– Search (including local)
– the Live Platform (for mash-up experiences)
– Global infrastructure (scale, efficiency)
– Advertising platform (for better ROI)

He said Live needs a Windows-like ecosystem to thrive. That makes sense, and Microsoft is very good at seeding and supporting ecosystems. Much better than the other guys.

In 30 days Microsoft will show over 60 new domain specific search options: think search macros. Misspelled “marcos” on his Powerpoint, btw. I guess everybody does their presos the night before.

For all my snarking, he did a good job convincing that Microsoft is DEADLY SERIOUS about ad-supported services, and about working closely, even humbly, with marketers.

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