<<the senior execs were compensated on software growth numbers?>> YEP ..when the analysts though SW was profit/growth engine.
But its not illegal and no conspiracy, its just what Wall Street thinks it needs to hear.
...and they were also peaked on HW virtualisation, then OS virtualisation...when the analysts were lathered about that being profit/growth engine.
then bonuses came on Cloud revenues (whatever you take that to mean, Larry) when the analysts were frothing about Cloud as the $$s engine.
then Big Data, analytics, IoT etc, when the analysts were....there's a picture.
and so it goes. Slot in HCI wherever suits ;-)