back to article Ballmer: I will buy 20 web companies a year

Steve Ballmer has told an audience of foaming Silicon Valley start-up types exactly what they want to hear: he will buy 20 web companies a year for the next five years. The Microsoft boss made the promise at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. He didn't say what these 100 acquisition targets would do for his firm, or where …


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  1. Kent Rebman

    Did he really mean to tell us this much?

    This is so M$-- shallow, not well thought out and definitely in their habitually "we'll figure (or fix) it out later." You can always count on Ballmer to blow it out of proportion. What an absolutely great quote. "Those will be good acquisitions, and they're important to us," he said. "And they're of strategic importance." We have no idea what they are because they don't exist yet. But they're important. They're strategic. C'mon, give it a rest-- maybe you'll quit perspiring so much. But you know, come to think of it, maybe they are important. Maybe they'll buy a company that'll give 'em a clue...

  2. Douglas

    Perhaps he really meant...

    10 "Web 2.0" companies.

  3. Phill
    Jobs Horns

    I plan on buy talent we don't have here

    So why would he do this?

    - Lack of talent and innovation at HQ

    - To reduce competition or potential competition

    - To take profits which aren't coming from their usual sources

    All in all it's basically a quote from Ballmer saying...we don't know where were going. We'll piggy back on a growing company to ensure success for our investors.


  4. Anonymous Coward

    Physician, heal thyself

    Perhaps Ballmer should more wisely consider fixing the existing portfolio, such as Virtual Server, before he heads off on a buying binge. Buying companies doesn't do anything for improving the Microsoft breed as we have seen by MSFT's lackluster efforts to absorb Connectix and provide a market-competitive offering to VMware.

  5. Pete mcQuail

    Going cheep...

    He can have my company for a cut price 25M any day.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    I wonder if can bankrupt a company like Microsoft?

    $100Bn. Isn't that a massive amount of money even for a company like MS? He's been throwing money at Zune, Xbox and anything else that he can think of nowadays. He must like spending money.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Ballmer is not of this world

    is he??

  8. gizmo
    Gates Horns

    Blowhard and the next bubble

    Steve Blowhard wants to help get the next interweb bubble on the fast track. History repeats itself. I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't EVER pay any attention at all to the friggin ads they place on their web 2.0 sites. Some day the advertisers may catch on to this and the interwebubble 2.0 will burst right in Ballsax face.

    I am waiting for web 5.0 beta 2. I hear that is when things will really start happenin.

  9. cor
    Jobs Horns

    20 web 2-point-oh companies per year?

    OOOh can't wait to mail him about my carpet bag full of Web 3.7 (TM) companies....

  10. regadpellagru
    Thumb Down

    Ballmer. Again.

    Let's portrait Ballmer as a linear combination of:





    I'm leaving for all El Reg's readers the calculation/estimation of the coefficients.

    May we never loose his genes, just like Ebola's virus, so as to be sure we can still fight him in the next centuries.

  11. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Merlin casts AIMetaPhysician's Spell .........For Sale or Rent or Rendition.

    "There aren't many things in the $6bn to $15bn price range, you're talking about a handful of things." Wwweb 3.0, 42Rule within them All, My Little Precious? A Tall Tale or a Web already Spun in String and Strands of Auric Lustre and NEUKlearer Transparency?

    Perhaps that is what he really meant, Douglas? Crikey, he's a lot SMARTer than he looks.


  12. Anonymous Coward


    ""Those will be good acquisitions, and they're important to us," he said. "And they're of strategic importance.""

    Curious, that sounds like something straight from the gaping cake hole of GWB. Could this be a sign of a common Ballmer - Bush gene?

    Say it ain't so.

  13. Brian Miller

    Its about stock price

    Ballmer thinks that if he buys enough companies, then Wall Street will think that Microsoft is up to something good, instead of just stagnating.

  14. Grant Bearman

    A better buy for Ballmer

    A smart Ballmer would limit his purchases to companies using linux/apache so he can force convert them to Winders/IIS.

    IIS is catching up with Apache on Netcraft's surveys, and if it ever exceeds it, the MS shills will go crazy. MS stock will soar. Yadda yadda.

  15. Rick

    Global Crossing

    Maybe SteveO could start off by buying Global Crossing for all those WEB 2 point D'OH companies he's going to buy. That way I won't have a loss of bandwidth in the vile crap that is about to be spewwed across the internet. I think his ultimate goal is to beat the man Billy G. Me thinks his ego has taken a sadistic turn and he actually wants to be the superbeast of Redmond.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Boy have I got some stuff for old Ballmer oh yes this and this and oh yes and if I run out of my own stuff I can clone a bunch of lesser known never to be successful "companies" please this is too good to be true MS has proven it didn't know a web 2.0 company from it's elbow (not that there is much to know).Ballmers time to assisted living estimated 8 months.

  17. BoldMan

    I have a cunning plan...

    Hey Steve, I've got this wonderful virtual real estate in Digital Florida! its got its own digital ecosystem, as well as digital water (beautifully rendered) with state of the art Web 2.0 community building software and DigiGators(tm)

    Its a steal at $10m

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Re: I have a cunning plan...

    "Hey Steve, I've got this wonderful virtual real estate in Digital Florida! its got its own digital ecosystem, as well as digital water (beautifully rendered) with state of the art Web 2.0 community building software and DigiGators(tm)"

    So, is the DigiGator[tm] code written in Python[*]? :-)

    The taxi's here, I'll turn the lights off on my way out ...

    [*] -

  19. Tim Bates

    So sad.

    So is Ballmer going looking himself, or is he putting the info out for people to submit their business as a potential buy?

    If he's taking ideas and offers, I am fairly sure I could come up with 2 or 3 internet business ideas, hack up a demo, and sell, sell, sell. Heck, half a million would be plenty. Or he can buy a list of ideas from me for $50,000.

    Crazy old Monkey Boy. He's sinking the whole company....

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