InfoWorld reports that Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer each received total compensation of $901,667 in Microsoft Corp.’s 2004 fiscal year, up 4.4 percent from $863,447 one year ago. Why did they get the raises? They clearly did not merit it? The net income from “continuing operations” that is excluding all the cash they generate from their massive cash hoard and true measure of Microsoft’s corporate cojones was down 18% for the same time frame – $9.9.993 billion in fiscal 2003 versus $8.168 billion in fiscal 2004. The stock price was essentially flat during the period – fluctuating between $26 and $28 a share. They have been range bound since. Only the revenues were up by about $4.5 billion to $36.84 billion for the period. The company lost market share in server space to Linux and more competitive threats are looming. There are product delays of all sorts. And the life members of “world’s billionaire club” get a raise. Not to be harsh, but in any other industry….oh I don’t know like consumer durables or telecom, if this was the report card for the head honchos, the CEO and his cronies would be by now playing golf in Bahamas… I am just saying, not that there is anything wrong with Bill and Steve getting more dollars.