Ballmer backs Obama's leadership

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer this week said he had confidence in President-elect Barack Obama's leadership, during a whirlwind visit to Sydney.

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer this week said he had confidence in President-elect Barack Obama's leadership, during a whirlwind visit to Sydney.

Steve Ballmer

Ballmer talks to
developers in Sydney yesterday

(Credit: Microsoft)

Obama's decisive victory this week over Republican rival John McCain in the US presidential elections has been broadly hailed by technology leaders as potentially beneficial to the country's technology and communications industries.

"I have a lot of faith in our system and our electoral process, and I think President-elect Obama understands that there's a deep set of economic issues, and I have confidence in his leadership," Ballmer told the ABC's Lateline program, in respond to a question on how he thought Obama's win would help corporate America.

The full text of the Lateline interview, along with a video of the broadcast, can be found here.

Ballmer said that the global economic crisis "definitely affected" the IT industry, with IT spend being 50 per cent of overall capital spend and PCs being one of the more expensive things that most people bought for their homes.

"The number one thing we actually need now is to sort of restore a positive sense of optimism," he said.

"I actually think to some degree, at least business people I talk to, sort of negativity feeds on negativity. And I trust at least in my home country, the US, with the presidential election behind us, maybe we can get into a positive psychology loop," Ballmer added.

In the rest of the interview, Ballmer mainly appeared to reiterate comments he made in Sydney earlier this week regarding the need for Australia to adopt fast broadband, as well as about the future of computing and pending new Microsoft products such as Windows 7 and Azure.

The full video of Ballmer's speech to developers in Sydney yesterday is also online.

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