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Steve "on the" Ballmer is telling anyone who'll listen about how Microsoft is taking a pasting from Google in the search advertising racket.

In a speech in Orlando this week, the Microsoft boss said: "In world search and advertising, Google is the leader, we're an aspirant [shouldn't that be perspirant?]. We have a lot of work to do in search and advertising," ZDnet UK reports.

During his Griswald-esque barrel through Europe last week, Ballmer was banging on about how he wants a quarter of Microsoft revenues to come from advertising within a few years.

He told the Orlando audience: "[Our] software model is under attack...we need to take control back." Open source, combined with Microsoft's failure thus far to capitalise on the web is stymying its growth. Half-baked efforts like Office Live won't satisfy Google-crazed analysts who have swallowed the web apps gospel.

A lot of hope at Redmond is pinned to aQuantive, its $6bn ad network acquisition. The recent buy has yet to deliver. Ballmer said: "Our advertising system works... when we have something there, we'll show you."

Can't wait. ®

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