Thanks to the Sarbanes-Oxley act Steve Ballmer did not receive a free Xbox 360 from Microsoft on launch day. Under financial disclosure rules, Microsoft would have to classify a free game console as income for Ballmer. The premium version of Microsoft’s next-generation game machine carries a $400 price tag. Although the cost of the Xbox 360 pales to Ballmer’s salary and bonus of nearly $1 million and his stock holdings of $11.3 billion (as of today’s close), it would still have to be explicitly disclosed in SEC filings. In order to avoid this, executive management and insiders in the company probably did NOT get an Xbox while other “regular” employees most likely did. At least you can rest knowing that the Ballmer kids aren’t playing an Xbox 360 in their 8,600 square foot home.

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