Ballmer Prepared To Spend $2.25 Billion Per Year On Search

Wants to keep it up for five years, too

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Steve Ballmer’s a persistent guy; a look at Microsoft’s different search efforts will show that he’s definitely embraced the line "try, try, again."  And now, Ballmer may be ready to try harder than ever, as he’s voiced a willingness to spend something like $2.25 billion per year on search. 

Steve Ballmer

According to Ian Sherr, Ballmer said at a business lunch yesterday, "Our shareholders, I told them we were willing to spend 5 to 10 percent of operating income for up to five years in this business, and we feel like we can get an economic return."

Microsoft’s operating income in 2008 equaled $22.49 billion, so that’s a not-quite-commitment of about $1.12 billion to $2.25 billion annually.  Multiply those numbers by five, and you’re looking at $5.62 to $11.25 billion overall.  Or more, since Microsoft’s likely to pull in greater sums of money in the years ahead.

Those are rather stunning figures.

Still, as reported in a Wall Street Journal article, Ballmer said, "In our industry, the number one mistake that people make is that they quit too early."

Investors apparently appreciate his dedication, too, as Microsoft’s stock is up by 2.68 percent at the start of the trading day.

Ballmer Prepared To Spend $2.25 Billion Per Year On Search
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  • RightPaddock

    Why not spend it on something we lack, rather something we have

    Like a REAL news service that employs REAL journalists that report and analyse REAL news, rather than a mere aggregator of third party, amateur and celebrity media releases.

    Ballmer & imagination is like military & intelligence, it’s an oxymoron.

    Why don’t they do some original research like IBM, who knows maybe M$ too might produce a Nobel prize winner or two. That would do no less harm to their stock value than yet another me too search engine and it would improve their public image no end.

  • Michael

    Why waste all that money on search when we have a perfectly good search engine. How about putting some effort into Windows mobile operating system, which has not changed the slightest bit since the IPhone was launched about 2 years ago, and make a new mobile OS that is able to contend with the Iphone. Now that would be money well spent..

    • Rachmilliza

      I think it would be good to get other big player in search business. Competition is essential for every industry. It can embrace rapid development in the industry, strict control of player’s operational activity by its competitor and also the important thing: maximize value for the customers. I myself use lot of google’s applications and quite happy with those, but I believe that there will be significant technology improvement which will be provided by these two giant players. Hopefully !!!

    • Viv

      Have you no concept of progression. Search and the organisation of information is the number 1 ticket item in the internet realm. How can we expect to get better at it if no one is pushing it forward. Also, this is a long term plan and one among many long term plans at MS. You may be happy with it as it is, but in 5 years when all other technologies are progressing except search, you’ll be wondering why no one is pushing it forward. I am sure they have plans for the mobile platform but right now, the search engine industry and Google is Microsofts number 1 competitor and threat. They have to push forward in this area if they are to keep up and remain relevant beside Google.

    • chrisb

      what are you talking about? Google? Microsoft makes no money from google. Do you even realize the huge market in helping companies get their databases and documents searchable? It’s more than just doing a Microsoft file search on a fileserver, or throwing them in SharePoint, both of which are pretty useless compared to the competition. Documentum, Google, there are other solutions Microsoft has a lot of catching up to do.

      Search is more than just one textbox to search the internet.

      I don’t think giving up the entire search industry to google is good for anybody, not even for us consumers.

    • http://www.josephrosson.com -Joe

      Put the money to better use and REWRITE windows mobile form the ground up with web browsing front and center.

      Come on guys Windows Mobile makes me want to learn Objective C

  • FunkyWeasle

    “In our industry, the number one mistake that people make is that they quit too early.”
    Closely followed by the number two mistake that some people don’t know when to quit.

  • Guest

    Ballmer said, “In our industry, the number one mistake that people make is that they quit too early.”

    The number two mistake that people make is that, sometimes they don’t quit at all even though they know that the target is unachievable; While they could’ve spent all the resources to do what they were better at…


    anybody who wants to spend money on research it further is welcome. Plus, we had Java and it’s frameworks for a good “for the masses” OOP language. In some people’s opinion it should have stopped there. Wrong, … I would say. Did it hurt coming up with C# or the new VB.NET and the .NET framework? Don’t think so. We had NMT why come up with GSM? And so on …

    The comparison with the IBM’s Nobel laureates is unfair as there’s no Nobel prize for Computer Science yet. There is not one for Mathematics, so please quit it with this Nobel prize crap.

    The guys in software engineering/development from Microsoft as well at many other companies did their share for this world so demeaning them and thinking of them less compared with the “geniuses” at IBM only because IBM has lots of Nobel prizes is narrow judgment.

    Go Ballmer, go! :)

    PS: To set the record straight I appreciate IBM for what they have done as well.

  • Guest

    Hi everybody, how ya’ll goin? i like boobies.

    • Guest

      i like boobies too

      • Guest

        i love boobies too..who hate..?

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