Ballmer Prepared To Spend $2.25 Billion Per Year On Search

    June 19, 2009

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.