Ballmer Calls Google A "Behemoth"

At this year's eighth D: All Things Digital conference, Steve Ballmer, Microsoft Corp.'s chief executive, called rival Google Inc. a "behemoth," a term used far more often to describe the software giant than the search company.

Ballmer used a return visit to the conference to comment on Bing, Microsoft's fledgling search engine, which he previewed last year for D7 attendees only a few days before its official launch.

"We've got a heck of a lot of work cut out for us in a very competitive battle against a very large behemoth," Ballmer said, making obvious reference to Google. "It takes one to know one," he said.

Bing is the "first search engine to gain market share in a long time," he said. He went on to say that unique users of the search engine are up 54 percent year-over-year.

Since Bing's launch, the software giant has "done a lot to establish a name," Ballmer said. "Our demographics are good, not just with, let me say, our classic customers, but if you actually look where our market share is highest, it's actually with people 18 - 35, so we are over index in market share with younger crowds."

Microsoft has "done a lot to establish a general view that we built a product that delivers good and relevant results. I think we have done a lot to establish the fact that we've taken a different and important perspective on the user experience," he said.

Ballmer said that Microsoft expects to fully integrate Yahoo! by the end of this year, in time for the holiday season.

"We'll flip the switch the minute the switch should be flipped," he said. "Quality is job 1 for us on that integration. It's a business where scale drives product improvement."



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