Ballmer provides grim outlook as economy 'resets'

Microsoft's Ballmer said the economy will get worse before it gets better for Microsoft and industry as a whole.

Speaking to financial analysts on the heels of Microsoft's announcement of layoffs and a disappointing second quarter, CEO Steve Ballmer referred to current economic conditions as an entire recalibration that means the economy likely won't return to its previous prosperity.

"As things go down, they reset," Ballmer said on a conference call Thursday. "The economy shrinks and then it doesn't rebound, it rebuilds from a lower base. We're not expecting a bounce."

Ballmer also predicted it could take a year or two for the economy to improve, and that Microsoft is prepared to keep its priorities tight and its costs conservative for the long term.

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