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LONDON, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Microsoft ( MSFT - news - people ) has adopted a tough mantra for an age of austerity, arguing that innovation must take a back seat to cost-cutting and productivity gains when it comes to selling technology.

'Things have come down. I see them staying down and slowly growing,' Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's chief executive, said today in a speech to British business leaders.

Forbes: COLUMN-Necessity mother of invention at Microsoft: Eric Auchard