Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer didn’t just talk tech today at the Web 2.0 Summit. A free ranging question and answer session drew out him out on a subject near and dear to the Web 2.0 entrepreneurs in the crowd – Microsoft’s current philosophy on acquisitions:
“Microsoft will continue to invest in buying technology, products and market share,” he said. “We’ll buy 20 companies a year consistently for the next five years for anywhere between 50 million and 1 billion bucks.”
Sitting in front of a standing-room-only audience jammed into the main ballroom at the Palace Hotel, Ballmer also said Microsoft may also include open-source software makers on its shopping list.
“We will buy smaller companies. We will buy smaller companies that make some use of open source software,” he said. “We don’t want to discourage people who would talk with us just because they do some open source.”