TOKYO: In the wake of its failed bid for Yahoo, Microsoft has no immediate plans to advance its online presence via acquisitions or alliances. So says soon-to-retire chairman Bill Gates as he pursues his valedictory tour of the software titan's Far Eastern empire.

"Now at this point Microsoft is focused on its independent strategy," Gates told reporters at a news conference in Tokyo – a statement seeming at odds with his remarks on Tuesday in South Korea when he said the company wasn't ruling out alternative partnerships.

Microsoft intends make "advances" in its own search offering, assured Gates, referring to brainstorming sessions in Seattle intended to forge tangible and specific plans.

Plans for what, wondered his audience? 

"We will make the advances that give people a great choice there," came the reply, giving rise to speculation that impending retirement may have addled the tycoon's legendary specificity.

Data sourced from Business Week / Associated Press; additional content by WARC staff