In a rare interview, Steve Ballmer was up front and personal as he described where he wants Microsoft to head in the future. The interview took place at the at the company’s MIX08 conference Thursday. What was interesting is that interviewer Guy Kawasaki was actually appointed by Microsoft to grill Ballmer and grill he did.

Naturally the first question had to do with the Microsoft-Yahoo deal:

The first question out of interviewer Guy Kawasaki’s mouth during the hour-long interview was “what’s the deal” with Microsoft’s quest to purchase the struggling Internet and online advertising company? Kawasaki was appointed by Microsoft to grill Ballmer at the conference.

“We’ve made an offer,” Ballmer said. “We’ve made an offer and it’s out there, baby.”

Ballmer reiterated Microsoft’s stance that the company needs Yahoo to compete effectively against Google in online advertising, calling Microsoft the “little engine that could” against the wildly more successful search giant. He said search is the “killer app” for online advertising, and that advertising and the Internet — already a “big thing” — is poised to be the next “super-big thing.”

“We’ve worked really hard to make it clear we have real commitment, real aspirations and real tenacity about being a really serious player in the world of search and advertising,” Ballmer said.

Steve Ballmer also made his feelings known about Appleā€™s Air laptop which he states is fairly limited without a DVD player and other topics of interest.

Complete article is here.

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