Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer shocked the French yesterday when he declared the software giant would soon earn 25 percent of its revenues from Internet and mobile advertising.
His bullishness is stoked by early feedback from the $6B deal that Microsoft made for aQuantive, a marketing entity in May.
Ballmer is up against some heady competition, mainly from the likes of Google, Yahoo and Rupert Murdoch’s expanding media empire. He told the Paris media show that Microsoft will spend whatever it takes, or billions to make a run in the media market. Yahoo would be a sweet pick-up for Microsoft.
While optimistic Ballmer wowed the French, Bill Gates was left singing the praises of Microsoft’s Zune digital music player. [It’s a solo performance.]
“I’m sure a year from now we’ll do even better. But I’m blown away by what they’ve been able to do in a year.”
Microsoft also fired a shot across the bow of archrival Apple in the music business. It eliminated the putrid brown-colored Zune from the line-up, a shade that had people thinking of the fabulous `70s, not the now `00s.
Despite Gates’ “upbeat” note on Zune, Apple CEO Steve Jobs sleeps very well at night.
Microsoft sold 1.2M Zunes since last year. Apple sold 41.4M iPods from October through June.
Ballmer has a better chance of catching Google than Gates does Apple.