Ballmer stresses importance of a unified Microsoft in final shareholder address

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer has emphasized that integrating the Bing and Xbox businesses into a broader Microsoft vision are vital to the company's success in the future.

Speaking at Microsoft's annual shareholder meeting yesterday – his final one before he retires - Ballmer spoke of his One Microsoft vision, which he hopes will boost collaboration amongst the company's various products.

Part of this unified strategy involves the integration of Bing with Xbox One by utilising the search engine within the new console, a feature that was announced yesterday.

"(Xbox One) is a reflection of what is possible when a company, our company, is unified under a common vision," Ballmer said.

Before the meeting it was announced that Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia Devices and Services had been approved by Nokia shareholders. "This is really a signature moment in the transformation of the company," Ballmer said. "Microsoft is uniquely positioned to drive and define the next big thing.

"Now, bigger acquisitions should be done with great thought and caution. Certainly our aQuantive acquisition is not going to go down in the record books as a success. It wasn't, and I take responsibility for that."

When asked by a member of the audience why Microsoft's share price was not going up, Ballmer argued that continued profit creation would lead to an increase in share price.

"Our stock price is 60% of what it was when I took over as CEO and profits are three times," he explained. "I trust the company will continue to focus in on what's real, which is long-term profit creation. The share price will go up. I feel confident about that."

After ten years in charge of the company, Ballmer announced his plans to leave Microsoft in August. In an internal email sent to employees at the time, Ballmer wrote, "There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time."Ballmer stresses importance of a unified Microsoft in final shareholder address