Ballmer Sees Global Crisis Hitting Microsoft

Reuters reports Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said on Tuesday the global financial crisis will sap consumer and business spending, affecting all companies, including his own.

“Financial issues are going to affect both business spending and consumer spending, and particularly … spending by the financial services industry,” Ballmer told reporters on the sidelines of a news conference in the Norwegian capital.

“We have a lot of business with the corporate sector as well as with the consumer sector and whatever happens economically will certainly effect itself on Microsoft,” he told Reuters.

“I think one has to anticipate that no company is immune to these issues,” he said, but declined to be more specific.

Wall Street analysts, on average, expect the Redmond, Washington-based company to generate an 8 percent rise in revenue to just under $15 billion in its first-quarter ending in September.

“There are parts of our every business which are probably ‘safe’ in the sense that it’s not like our business would go to zero,” he said in an interview.

“On the other hand, when businesses have less money — they can borrow less money, they can spend less money — that can’t be good. When consumers feel the economic pinch, house prices come down. That can’t be good,” Ballmer said.

Microsoft shares rose 3.3 percent to $25.84 at 1347 GMT in a broader U.S. market rebound following a sharp slide on Monday. Reuters has more