Microsoft Slams on the Brakes

Two days after President Barack Obama, in his inaugural speech, told the country to brace itself for tough times, the head of one of the most valuable U.S. companies echoed the sentiment. "We're certainly in the midst of a once-in-a-lifetime set of economic conditions," Microsoft (MSFT) Chief Executive Steve Ballmer told analysts during a conference call discussing fiscal second-quarter results. "The economy is resetting to a lower level."

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