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Ballmer Speaks on His Solo Act 196

Carl Bialik from WSJ writes "In his first one-on-one interview since Bill Gates's retirement announcement, Steve Ballmer tells the Wall Street Journal he is bullish on Microsoft's investments in online services, and he dismisses as 'random malarkey' the idea that Microsoft is having trouble hiring and keeping the kind of brilliant employees that have always been the company's competitive weapon. Here's Ballmer on Gates's departure: 'As co-leaders of the business, I could allow Bill to be the full-time champion of innovation. And [now] with me really being the guy who's here every day running the place, I must be the champion of innovation.' And on competing with Google: 'We're going to compete. We're going to be in the online business. We are going to have a core around online. We're going to be excellent. That, I would tell people, to count on...'"

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