03/28/2008 02:45 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Ballmer: I Will Buy 20 Web Companies A Year

Start your engines, entrepreneurs. Or, if they're already started ... take off the parking brake. If Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer is to be believed, then it's a good time to flip a startup. During his Q&A at the Web 2.0 Summit yesterday he made the ballsy claim that the company is prepared to purchase 20 companies a year, for the next five years.

However juicy the proposition may sound, one should still take heed. One thing Ballmer didn't state in his froth was a solid direction for all these purchases. He merely went on to say that the buys will be "good acquisitions . . .and they're of strategic importance." If we're keeping score, that potentially means that Microsoft is prepared to spend a lot of money over a five year stretch on companies that it hasn't seen yet, that will ultimately provide services or products that it hasn't identified yet.

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