LAS VEGAS--If the jabs from venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki weren't enough, Steve Ballmer took a bunch of no-holds-barred queries from the audience at Mix '08.
He was asked whether, given Apple's iPhone announcement, Microsoft was trying to get Silverlight on the Apple phone.
"Silverlight for the iPhone is, of course, interesting," he said. "I can't say there's been extensive discussion with Guy's old boss."
He also said it was unclear whether Apple's business model, which takes 30 percent of iPhone application revenue, would allow for royalty-free distribution of Silverlight. (Apple has said it will allow free applications.) He also noted that Apple might be taking too large a slice, grabbing "30 percent of every bit of revenue."
"It's a good business, if you can make it," Ballmer said.
Later on, he was asked about Apple's license of the ActiveSync protocol that connects mobile devices to Microsoft's Exchange Server.
"We've licensed ActiveSync for a while. That's been an option that's been available to Apple," Ballmer said. The company has already licensed the technology to other rivals, including Palm and Nokia. "It was certainly an option we knew Apple might take advantage of."
The session concluded with Kawasaki saying he knew Ballmer really wanted a MacBook Air. "If you ever want a discount, I have friends," he said.