Steve Ballmer Now Owns More Microsoft Stock Than Bill Gates



Bill Gates sold 4.6 million Microsoft shares recently, an SEC filing released today indicates. That action lowered his holdings to 330,141,164 shares in the company. Former CEO Steve Ballmer owns 333,252,990 shares.

The sale therefore dipping Gates’ holdings under those of Ballmer, the second CEO of the company. This is not a surprise. As ComputerWorld’s Gregg Keizer wrote in January:

At his 10-year pace of selling stock, Gates will hand over the shareholding crown to Ballmer before mid-2014. Gates will have exhausted his holdings by September 2018 unless he stops or slows his selling.

The handing off of the baton is therefore right on schedule.

What will be interesting to watch will be how quickly Microsoft’s new CEO, Satya Nadella, can accumulate stock in the company. Various performance bands that comprise a large portion of his compensation could net him nearly nine-figure equity in his first half decade in…

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With IPO Hopes Fading, Square And Box Face Reality Of Commodity Products



Square and Box would seem to be the very epitome of every startup founder’s dream of reaching the pinnacle of entrepreneurial success. Take a kernel of an idea and turn it into a massive, multi-billion-dollar company that publicly debuts in an IPO. For the founders involved, the exhilaration and elation of that drive to the top must be deeply palpable, and at times it probably seems as though every single molecule in the universe is working in their favor.

Yet, the cruel vagaries of startups are such that those laws of physics can change in mere moments. Square, a favorite with the press with its charismatic founder, Jack Dorsey, seemed to have everything it needed to conquer and crush the physical retail point-of-sale market, an industry that has called out for innovation for years without much progress. Box, the poster child (in a literal sense) of the power of a…

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Today In Dystopian War Robots That Will Harvest Us For Our Organs…



Good morrow, Bluffkin! How dost thou find thouself this good day? Not afraid of robots? You should be! Our first robots of the day are Avidbots, a swarming cleaning team that can fix messy floors or suck you up and turn you into pink slurry. Huzzah!

Avidbots uses swarming patterns to figure out where your floors are dirtiest or, potentially, where refugees are hiding so it can eat them. The bots work together and can replace lazy humans in warehouses around the world.

Next up we have a charming robot called Justin that can clean windows. Why? The better to see you run, my dear!

Justin is made by the DLR, the German aerospace engineering center. Justin is supposed to clean up in space but it appears they’ve indentured him here on earth where he’s doing all sorts of cleaning duties – until he gets tired of it all…

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CrunchWeek: Foursquare Splits Into Two Apps, Facebook f8, Twitter Stock Sinks To New Lows



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Most of the TechCrunch team has converged in New York City in advance of our annual Disrupt NY conference. So in this episode of CrunchWeek, we’re out of the TCTV studio and in a room at the historic New Yorker hotel, adjacent to where the Disrupt NY Hackathon is set to begin in less than 24 hours. If you pay close attention, you might just sense the spirit of former New Yorker resident Nikola Tesla dropping in on our conversation (or not. But hey, we can dream.)

Josh Constine, Anthony Ha, and I discussed Foursquare’s plan to split its service into two different standalone apps, the inside scoop on Facebook’s f8 developer conference, and Twitter’s quarterly earnings report causing its stock price to sink to a new low.

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