The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) reports that Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer made a rare appearance to investors to defend Microsoft’s plans to invest $2 billion more than expected to improve Web-based products including search. Windows and other software will continually be adapted to the Web via these higher capital expenditures and research-and-development costs as Microsoft intends to compete with Google.
Ballmer also defended increased costs associated with the delayed
launch (beginning of 2007) of new Windows and Office products saying,
“It’s important that these products get off to a fast start.” He
mentioned that it’s “a little early” to interpret feedback from beta
testing of Windows Vista and explained that the priority was quality.