In a wide-ranging Q&A with former Apple marketing kingpin Guy Kawasaki, Ballmer fielded questions about everything from the rationale behind Microsoft's plans to buy Yahoo, to when and whether Microsoft would port Silverlight to the iPhone.
Among the Ballmerisms evoked by Kawasaki's good-natured ribbing:
Ballmer reiterated that Microsoft wants Yahoo because "search is the next killer app for advertising." When Kawasaki asked what the latest was on Microsoft's pending take-over, Ballmer said "We made an offer. It's out there, baby!"
When will Microsoft port Silverlight to the iPhone? Ballmer remained noncommittal, but also said that Apple was planning to charge software vendors "30 percent on any runtime for apps running on the iPhone." Microsoft officials at Mix this week hinted that when and whether Microsoft would put its Flash competitor on the iPhone depended on whether Apple planned a "DoCoMo"-like lock-down on its cellphone platform.
"What's the deal with Vista?" Kawasaki prodded Ballmer. Ballmer reiterated that Microsoft had initial compatibility problems with drivers and apps for Vista but that the "second most popular operating system" (after Windows XP) was on track now.
(Photo: Ballmer about to launch into his "Web developers" rallying cry, courtesy of istartedsomething.)