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Yahoo search business still tops Microsoft's wish list

January 22, 2009 | 11:59 am

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer Is Microsoft still searching for a Yahoo deal?

Eclipsed by Microsoft's decision to slash the jobs of up to 5,000 workers amid all the growing economic gloom, Chief Executive Steve Ballmer still wants Yahoo's search business.

Asked about it during a conference call with analysts today, Ballmer said: "I’ve been quite public about the fact that I think there is advantages for consumers, advertisers, Microsoft and Yahoo through a search partnership, and we’d like to do one. I know Carol Bartz well from the Autodesk days and am glad to see her at the helm of Yahoo. And if it’s appropriate, I’m sure we will have the right discussion."

Ballmer met last week with Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock. And he says Microsoft will keep challenging market leader Google in search even as it continues to cede ground.

"We are going to continue to invest in important areas of opportunity for the company," Ballmer said. "And so even while we take out up to 5,000 jobs, we will also be adding a few thousand jobs back in the areas like search where we continue to see incredible opportunity to do good work."

-- Jessica Guynn

Photo: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Credit: Paul Sakuma / Associated Press

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