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Microsoft's Ballmer calls Facebook a 'fad'

Ballmer says social networking has "a faddish nature" to it

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer reckons that social networking sites such as Facebook have "a faddish nature about them". Speaking to The Times Online, Ballmer said that social networks "are going to have some legs, and yet there's a faddishness, a faddish nature about anything that basically appeals to younger people," he said, somewhat generally.

Rumours continued to fly around last week suggesting Microsoft was to buy a 5 per cent stake in Facebook - worth as much as £500 million. Ballmer wouldn't comment about the rumours, but clearly indicated he saw benefit in the userbase Facebook has built up.

Geocities has "most of what Facebook has"

Ballmer compared Facebook to the Yahoo-owned Geocities. Yahoo bought Geocities for $3 million back in 1999, but it has since passed out of favour. Ballmer says that Geocities "had most of what Facebook has". Clearly Ballmer never used the same Geocities we did.

No doubt Ballmer would also be pointing at the crazy money eBay paid for Skype. The former announced this morning that it is to write down the value of Skype by 46 per cent. That's some $1.43 billion down the drain. The company originally paid $2.6 billlion (£1.4 billion) for the online telephony company.