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Steve Ballmer says ‘every couple of tenths matter’ at Microsoft Annual Shareholders Meeting

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer at today’s shareholders meeting.

Over 98% of the voting shareholders supported the company’s executive compensation practices in Microsoft’s first vote on executive compensation, also known as “say on pay,” in Microsoft’s meeting with shareholders. Bill Gates was silent throughout, listening to proceedings. Ballmer, on the other hand, had plenty to say – particularly in response to shareholder questions about Macs, Windows, and company’s struggle to regain its footing in market for mobile phones. Ballmer announced record sales figures for Windows 7, and said “Windows 7 is the simply best PC operating system we have ever built.” Also pointed to momentum, company was experiencing in other key areas of its business, with delivery of products and services including Bing, Windows Server 2008, Windows Azure, and upcoming release of Microsoft Office 2010. Answering to a shareholders question, Ballmer acknowledged that Apple has “picked up a couple of tenths of a percent of market share.” When some shareholders in the audience scoffed at the seemingly minimal gains, Ballmer corrected them, saying every couple of tenths matter. “They matter when we’re increasing our Bing market share, too,” he said.

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