Ballmer fails to reassure analysts on costs

Yesterday Microsoft's CEO, Steve Ballmer, addressed an analysts' meeting in New York. According to Reuters, his message wasn't well received.

He said Microsoft will offer robust versions of its yet-to-be-released Windows 7 operating software for netbooks to boost revenue from this fastest growing, low cost computer sector, but didn't announce more cost cutting, sending shares to an 11-year low.

Microsoft is to lay off 5,000 workers on January 22 as part of a plan to save $1.5 billion in annual costs.

'I don't think it makes sense for us to come back and say, 'Could we take out another $2 billion in costs‾'' Ballmer said at the analysts' meeting, Reuters reported.

A month ago Microsoft blamed netbooks for weaker-than-expected quarterly profits and said would ship a low-end version of Windows 7 for netbooks, and make it easy for users to upgrade to more expensive editions.