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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times reporter Sharon Chan.

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October 23, 2008 3:25 PM

Down economy a good time for Microsoft acquisitions, CFO says

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell said one upside to the bad economy is the company's ability to make acquisitions on the cheap.

An analyst asked Liddell during the company's first-quarter conference call this afternoon whether he sees a chance to accelerate the pace of acquisitions -- not "specifically around the Yahoo situation, but more generally with respect to enterprise software?"

Liddell's response:

"Clearly the benefit this environment has to us, if there is one, is in lower asset prices and we continue to be a net acquirer of businesses. Last year, as you know, we bought around 24, so two a month. And we will continue to buy, in particular, small or medium-sized businesses, which are our real sweet spot.

"I see our real constraint as not being capital, but simply our ability to integrate. I don't see us necessarily increasing the volume of acquisitions. A lot of people will see this as a difficult time to sell, because they'll see their prices as being depressed. But to the extent we do buy, which I think we will continue to, then it's likely to cost us less than it would have otherwise."

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