Microsoft CEO outlines 8 long-term growth bets

While Wall Street doesn't want to talk about anything Microsoft-related other than Redmond's bid to acquire Yahoo, Microsoft has lots of non-Yahoo-specific investments in its future.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer outlined Microsoft's top eight growth targets during his annual "Strategic Update" for Wall Street analysts in New York on February 4. Ballmer repeated several times during the hour-long presentation that "growth will require investment." He noted that his view of what constitutes "long term" is "five to seven to ten years" out - most likely a lot longer than the typical three-year timeframe typically envisioned by analysts and shareholders.

Ballmer's top growth picks are almost identical to the ones he outlined during last year's Strategic Update. On Ballmer's 2008 list of arenas where Microsoft believes it can sustain three-quarters of a billion dollars or more in new margin growth.

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