Ballmer Gives Economic Warning

    September 30, 2008

Microsoft’s stock managed to go up by 6.72 percent today, which undid a great deal of damage and put the company ahead of its opening price from Friday.  Just the same, Steve Ballmer has taken the unusual step of warning onlookers that the economic problems are likely to affect everyone.

Google’s stock lost another 10.39 percent of its value today.  Yahoo’s trading near a five-year low.  You almost have to imagine that Ballmer was filling in for Eric Schmidt or Jerry Yang.  Yet Reuters reports that he said, "I think one has to anticipate that no company is immune to these issues."

Since Redmond and Silicon Valley have long been treated as separate economic spheres, this is an interesting statement.  It’s also discouraging, since Ballmer went on to give himself some wiggle room and thereby imply that more problems can be expected.

Specifically, Ballmer said, "We have a lot of business with the corporate sector as well as with the consumer sector and whatever happens economically will certainly effect itself on Microsoft."

Even Microsoft critics will just have to hope he’s wrong.