Odds are, almost every household in the United States bought or used at least one Microsoft-related product in 2010. From smartphones to game consoles, entertainment software to applications, cloud computing infrastructure to expanded search engine agreements, the developer increased its footprint across earth and cyberspace. This year marked one of new beginnings and some endings for Microsoft, which released its long-awaited Windows Phone 7 operating system, the software giant's answer to Appl
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By the end of 2010, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer had planned to sell up to 75 million shares of Microsoft stock to help him "gain financial diversification" and aid in his tax planning before the close of the year.
"Even though this is a personal financial matter, I want to be clear about this to avoid any confusion," Ballmer said in a statement, using the same wording as when he last sold stock in 2003. "I am excited about our new products and the potential for our technology to change people's lives, and I remain fully committed to Microsoft and its success."
According to the SEC filings, Ballmer sold 49.3 million Microsoft shares at prices between $26 and $28 per share, earning about $1.3 billion. After that sale, his stock ownership level dropped to 359 million shares, valued at about $9.6 billion at the time.