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Ballmer leaves investors speechless in Seattle

He won't go quietly, huh

Website security in corporate America

The pressure must be getting to Microsoft's very own bald eagle Steve Ballmer as he issued a stinging public rebuke - for the first time - to dissenting investors calling for his head, and used the soon-to-be released fiscal 2011 results to back up his reputation.

According to reports in the Seattle Times, Microsoft's CEO shouted at a captive audience attending a civic bash in the city's Rotary Club yesterday.

"You tell me if I lack energy, conviction or we're not driving change we need to drive," he bellowed.

Calls for Ballmer to quit the firm have been growing in recent weeks - including from high profile hedge fund bigwig David Einhorn, president of Greenlight Capital - given the firm's share price stagnation, and IBM and Apple's overtaking it in terms of market capitalisation.

The nine-strong board continues to support him.

To justify his top seat, Ballmer then gave a sneak preview of Microsoft results for the year ended 30 June, not due to be published for some weeks yet.

"There's a reason why we'll do almost $70bn in revenue this year and we'll make over $20, whatever, $26, $27bn in profits," he added.

Redmond then clarified post-event to the ST that the big cheese was actually referring to operating profits of $26bn to $27bn, slightly lower than analyst estimates of $27.2bn and sales of $69.8bn.

Microsoft refused to comment. ®

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