Microsoft CEO concerned about Europe contagion

Microsoft CEO concerned about Europe contagion

Singapore: Microsoft Corp chief executive Steve Ballmer said on 26 May there are concerns that a debt crisis in the eurozone will not remain restricted to the region.

His remarks follow comments from the company’s chief financial officer Peter Klein earlier this month that Microsoft was expecting a boost this quarter from a rebound in business tech spending, which would likely outweigh the negative impact from turmoil in Europe.

“Before the Greek issue everyone has been saying they are more and more cautiously optimistic," Ballmer told journalists on the sidelines of a Microsoft event in Singapore.

“I think we all have to understand that the world economy is very lame and it is getting everybody nervous that the problem that we are seeing in Greece (and) Europe will not be isolated in Europe," he added.

Governments across the globe are assessing the potential fallout from a debt crisis in Europe.

When asked about his views on the business and security environment in China after Google Inc’s withdrawal from the market there, Ballmer said Google’s move was due to censorship instead of security issues.

In March Google closed its China-based search service and began redirecting Web searchers to an uncensored portal in Hong Kong, drawing harsh comments from Beijing that raised doubts about the company’s future in the world’s largest Internet market.

“The reason that Google withdrew from China has nothing to do with security. There are hackers around the world there are hackers in every country. You cannot say ‘I cannot do business in some countries because there are some hackers who live here," he said.

Microsoft has said it remains committed to China even after Google’s decision to retreat because of censorship.

Ballmer added that countries such as India and Indonesia have become more attractive compared with China to Microsoft because of better intellectual property protection.