"I’m optimistic because there are encouraging signs that growth may resume in many parts of the world during the course of the next year," Ballmer wrote. "More than that, I’m optimistic because I believe we are entering a period of technology-driven transformation that will see a surge in productivity and a flowering of innovation."
Ballmer, who saw his overall compensation decrease by a reported 5.5 percent this year, acknowledged the difficulties of the current fiscal climate.
"In all the talk about the economy," Ballmer wrote, "one term that comes up more and more frequently is something called 'the new normal.' I like this phrase because it speaks to the fact that economic reality has undergone a fundamental shift over the course of the past 12 months."
In April, Microsoft reported the first year-over-year revenue drop in company history. Still, Ballmer has at least one reason to be bullish – the Bing search engine, which was first unveiled this spring, has performed well above expectations.