updated 04:20 pm EDT, Thu May 1, 2008
MS Move on Yahoo Soon
Microsoft will take action on Yahoo's ultimatum rejection soon, company chief Steve Ballmer has said at a presentation for his firm's employees attended by Silicon Alley Insider. He acknowledges that Microsoft has missed its deadline for altering its strategy but adds that a maneuver will come in "very short order." This could include both a hostile attempt and the previously mentioned willingness to walk away if pursuing Yahoo proves fruitless.
Ballmer also hinted at an element of truth to recent claims that Microsoft may be willing to raise its bid beyond $31 per share, noting that the company is willing to pay for Yahoo "at some level" but not beyond. He nonetheless rejects notions that Yahoo could significantly influence the value of any offer, which he says involves some discretion of his own.
"I know exactly what I think Yahoo is worth and I won't go a dime above," Ballmer says.
Yahoo itself hasn't issued any response to the lack of action by Microsoft but is known to still be pursuing alternatives that would improve its value and fend off any hostile takeover attempt, including a permanent implementation of its Google AdSense deal or a union with AOL.
Additionally, the Microsoft executive has downplayed the controversy surrounding decisions by Dell and Lenovo to extend Windows XP sales past Microsoft's official June 30th end-of-sale date, noting that the company has always said it would allow a "downgrade" offer as a policy.
"That has been very misreported on," Ballmer says. "We haven't changed a darn thing. My comments didn't help."