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U.S. Economy Bouncy Says Steve Ballmer

By - Source: Tom's Hardware | B 24 comments
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Even though the US economy is taking a nosedive, Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer thinks everything is peachy-keen.

Yesterday Microsoft Corp’s Chief Executive Steve Ballmer spoke before a group of Silicon Valley civic leaders (story), reporting that – despite the U.S. economic problems and a threatening recession — he still sees a positive resilience among technology and telecommunications customers worldwide.

But Ballmer says that he is definitely aware that the industry isn’t immune to the effects of the global economy. However, in his travels, Ballmer has observed that people still see a certain buoyancy in the market. "At least, for now, people are feeling, I won’t say optimistic, but better than you would be feeling if you are watching CNBC all day," he stated in the meeting.

It’s certainly no surprise that Microsoft has such a positive outlook. Wall Street analysts are predicting that Microsoft will generate just under $15 billion during its fiscal first quarter ending in September. However, Craig R. Barrett, Intel’s Chairman of the Board, didn’t sound quite so optimistic when he addressed this year’s Intel Developers Forum.

"R&D is how you move forward in the world’s economic system," he said in his keynote speech. "For that, you need the right environment, and the government dictates the business environment ... Every country in the world knows this. Every country except one: this one." He also made it clear in his belief that the U.S. government needed to spend more taxpayer money on research and development.

At this point in time, any funding beyond the War on Terrorism and local economy woes seems unlikely. In a country where quality and innovation has taken a back seat, taxpayers face high gas prices, defaults on mortgages, increase costs in food and utilities. The U.S. government seems more focused on international security and bailing out large corporations from financial disaster.

But despite the opinions made by Steve Ballmer and Craig Barrett, it’s the taxpaying consumer that drives technology forward. Realizing this, Intel launched the Inspire-Empower Challenge, a contest that allows anyone to submit an idea relating to education, healthcare, economic development, and the environment. The winner chosen from each category will be awarded a whopping $100,000 each.

"The Challenge is designed to inspire developers, individuals, and organizations to innovate and empower them to deliver new ways to apply technology to these issues," reads the official website. "The INSPIRE•EMPOWER Challenge advances the commitment of the Intel World Ahead Program – to connect people to a world of opportunity."

Still, perhaps Ballmer is correct in his observation. Even though consumers cringe at soaring gas prices and corporate bailouts, they’re still buying video games, they’re still buying smart phones and 52" plasma HDTVs. Sure, consumers are extremely cautious, but they’re watching Iron Man: Ultimate Edition (ships Sept. 30 on Blu-Ray) in 1080i and loving every minute of it.

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  • 0 Hide
    giovanni86 , September 26, 2008 11:00 PM
    Ehhh this economic crisis still has me biting my nails off. I'm too scared to build my new PC as of right now until all this American bs is over. I think ppl are aware of whats going on, but for those who made good decisions in mortgage and in stocks should not be affected very much, only thing that can make it worse for ppl like this is higher prices on food, gas, etc. I hope this crisis ends. Its like a great depression but in 2008 geeez.
  • -1 Hide
    evilshuriken , September 27, 2008 12:07 AM
    That's funny Giovanni, to compare something like this to such a terrible time in American history. Clearly, you have no idea how bad it was back then.
    About our current situation, well it's not going to get any better until someone decides to put and end to this so called "war on terror". Biggest load of BS ever.
  • -6 Hide
    rantarave , September 27, 2008 12:24 AM
    haha if the US invested tax money in R&D instead of war on terror we'd already have 10 ghz nehalem processors
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , September 27, 2008 1:51 AM
    Why can't war be settled in gaming? like Crysis?
  • 2 Hide
    WheelsOfConfusion , September 27, 2008 3:25 AM
    It's a good description, actually. I think the best way to get people to pay attention to the economy while keeping things in perspective is to describe it as bouncy.
    And warm.
    And soft.
    And perky...
  • 1 Hide
    Ananan , September 27, 2008 12:45 PM
    "It's a good description, actually. I think the best way to get people to pay attention to the economy while keeping things in perspective is to describe it as bouncy.
    And warm.
    And soft.
    And perky..."

    lol - made my day.
  • 0 Hide
    jhansonxi , September 27, 2008 5:06 PM
    There's nothing wrong with the American economy or Vista.

    (I mentioned Vista just to set off the shill bots)
  • 7 Hide
    chris312 , September 27, 2008 5:28 PM
    I think the only real similarity the current US economy has to the Great Depression is that both were caused by stupid people taking out loans to buy stuff (or stocks) they couldn't afford and the greedy banks lending to them. Eventually the dust will settle and everyone will realize subprime mortgages are dangerous whether you are borrowing or lending. Then finally all the news networks will resume telling us about how Global Warming is going to kill us all.

    Seriously, though. Turn off the TV and go outside and see for yourself. The sky is not falling. The stock market may be, but it does that sometimes.
  • 2 Hide
    eZwins , September 27, 2008 5:50 PM
    "haha if the US invested tax money in R&D instead of war on terror we'd already have 10 ghz nehalem processors"
    All the Intel processors that Americans bought this year should cover the R&D. That's capitolism, right? Why should our tax dollars fund private corporations?!?!

    If that Intel exec is actually whining that the government isn't giving them enough money and tax breaks, I will switch to AMD in a heartbeat. I'm gonna assume he was saying that we could use the war money to develop energy alternatives. But again, who profits from that when it's developed? I pay money through taxes for a company to develop something that they are going to sell to me for profit? Giving huge corporations our tax money and waiving their taxes needs to stop, loans from the government are fine, but no tax breaks and no gifts for "R&D".
  • 0 Hide
    cruiseoveride , September 28, 2008 1:03 AM
    Steve for one, actually graduated with an MBA. So i'm sure he'll find a way of turning black, year after year, no matter what happens.
  • 0 Hide
    LkS , September 28, 2008 1:24 AM
    Whats with the slightly unsubtle plug for that Iron Man movie?
  • 0 Hide
    WheelsOfConfusion , September 28, 2008 1:47 AM
    cruiseoverideSteve for one, actually graduated with an MBA. So i'm sure he'll find a way of turning black, year after year, no matter what happens.

    Dubbya has an MBA too.
  • -5 Hide
    V8VENOM , September 28, 2008 6:43 AM
    OMFG, Steve Ballmer is even more of an idiot than I thought.

    Intel's 100,000, yahoo -- so we can give it to those bankrupt mortgage companies and still owe another 100,000 to just come out even!!! Yipee dipeedee doo dar day. Last check, Intel's top execs where bonused around 10-20 million!!

    GWB is a tool, worst president ever. He sat back, did NOTHING and watched housing price raise 300% over 5 years while household income only went up 12% over 5 years....hmmmm...do the Math GWB, you retard!

    We're only scratching the surface on just how bank the US economy is. It's going to get a LOT worse girls and boys.
  • -5 Hide
    V8VENOM , September 28, 2008 6:46 AM
    Oh yeah, the war on "Terror" cost us 2 Trillion dollars by the end of 2006!! Makes 700 billion bailout seem like nothing...problem is, the Feds don't have the money now, it was all spent on this war on Terror and weapons of mass destruction that never existed!!

    Oh, GWB and McCain -- two complete retards. And then we have Sarah Palin -- is she even from this planet?
  • -5 Hide
    V8VENOM , September 28, 2008 6:48 AM
    And finally, have we caught Bin Laden? That would be NO we haven't. Great job GWB.
  • -2 Hide
    Cuddles , September 28, 2008 11:11 AM
    What was the President supposed to do?
    I didn't know you were so privy to the Untied States Budget? I'm sure you have the S.C. since you stated you knew so much.
    Next 9-11 day why don't you spend the day watching the History Channel before spouting off on things you have no clue about.
    Sarah Palin comes from Alaska. Exactly what do you have against her? Democrats and tabloid reporters sent upward 30+ people to try and find something and they didn't. So you have something new?
    On that note what do you have against Senator McCain?
    Here's some math for you: If you took the Money you were going to spend on a Mac and decided to use it to buy a PC how many PC's could you get that could do the same thing as a Mac?
    The next big question I have for you is: Can you think for yourself or do you always rattle off the most retarded thing you heard someone say recently and then think you are cool for doing so?
    At least in Overlord I get to kill the Sheep... this is just torture.
  • -4 Hide
    Anonymous , September 28, 2008 6:20 PM
    CALM down snuggle wuggle's. I agree on Venom.Rich people snobs like Bush and McCain care about the rich and oil.They share the same ethics.

    Obama wants change. Clean out the old snobs and put some real people. We need a modern president in this modern world. Technology is affecting us all. Technology in a way is killing some jobs. We need to make new technology that employee's workers. Obama worked hard. He wasn't some rich spoiled bitch like the others.

    ARE YOU JOKING PALIN she is a little whore. Listen to her talk. All she knows is snow and brags about Alaska and her stupid family. Your the idiot that prolly voted for Bush. Just listen to Bush talk. Go on Youtube.com Listen to the reporters bashing on him, he is an idiot. He can't even answer questions right.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 28, 2008 9:26 PM
    V8VENOM = Complete retard.
    Clinton Had OBL and passed up the chance for him to be quite literally handed over on a silver platter.
    I hate GWB as much as the next guy but you have no right to speak on politics when your source for information is the daily show.
  • 0 Hide
    godmode , September 28, 2008 11:42 PM
    oh boy...i knew a topic talking about the US economy would bring up politics and some...ummmm..... interesting comments.
  • 0 Hide
    fuser , September 29, 2008 7:21 AM
    The U.S. Budget is public information.

    How did Palin come up in this conversation? No need to say anything about her. She's doing all of the work for us.
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