Microsoft 'Lucky' Not to Have Bought Yahoo! in 2008: Ballmer

SAN FRANCISCO (TheStreet) -- Microsoft (MSFT)CEO Steve Ballmer spoke candidly about the company's failed bid for Yahoo! (YHOO) in 2008, saying Microsoft was "lucky" to have avoided the acquisition amid the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

Speaking at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco, Ballmer said "times change" when asked if he was glad Microsoft didn't end up buying Yahoo! for $44 billion.

Ballmer was coy Tuesday when asked about reports that Microsoft is once again eyeing Yahoo!, which is once again on the auction block.

"You can ask me that question any week and get the same answer," he said.

Ballmer also spoke sharply about Google's ( GOOG)rival Android platform, calling their phones geeky and difficult to use.

"You don't have to be a computer scientist to use a Microsoft phone, you do for an Android phone," he said.

Microsoft is competing with Android only on price, Ballmer said, not on quality.

"The cheapest phones on the market will be Android -- the rock bottom cheapest," he said. "It's hard for me to be excited about Android phones."

--Written by Olivia Oran in San Francisco.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/Ozoran.

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