Where In The World Is Bill Gates?

How do you avoid the negative attention you get when the acquisition your company has been pursuing for months abruptly falls through?

If you’re Microsoft (MSFT), you trot out your genius, multi-billionaire founder to put a positive spin on the whole thing, even if he’s in fairly exotic places:

South Korea (Tuesday): “Well, the key decisions on that will be made by Microsoft CEO Steven Ballmer, who took a look at Yahoo and decided that on our own he likes the stuff that we’re doing…. We need to show the innovation and it’s a very competitive space. I wouldn’t rule out some partnerships but we don’t have anything imminent there.”

Tokyo (Wednesday): “Now at this point Microsoft is focused on its independent strategy.” “We will make the advances that give people a great choice there (in search offering).”

And the most exotic of them all, Fox Business Network (Tuesday): “Well, we — Steve Ballmer, the CEO, announced on Saturday in his letter that we had walked away and we were pursuing an independent strategy. And so that’s where the focus is. And, you know, obviously we have a strong competitor in that category, and so we need to do breakthrough software.”

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