Ballmer 'underpaid' Microsoft reckons

Microsoft chief executive officer Steve Ballmer only got half the bonus he might have earned during the firm's fiscal 2011, having fluffed the phone business as well as seeing Windows revenues dip.

A filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission shows Ballmer was paid $1.38 million for the year. Half of the total was his regular pay and half his bonus. But the bonus could have been doubled, if the CEO had pulled his finger out.

Nevertheless, the Microsoft board reckons Ballmer is “underpaid" for his services, according to the filing.

Microsoft's board praised moves attributed to him to promote Bing at the expense of Google and the Kinect waggler got an honourable mention. The outfit's cash cows of Windows and Office have come under attack in recent months as alternatives begin to gain traction. And without a decent showing the mobile phone market and a tablet-friendly OS, Microsoft it losing ground to rivals Google and Apple.

Such mis-steps have put Ballmer under pressure, notably from high-profile investor David Einhorn, who in May called for Ballmer's head on a platter.