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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

Category: Interviews

Brier Dudley’s Q&A sessions with industry leaders

August 27, 2012 at 10:15 AM

Q&A: Tech talk with Inslee and McKenna

Whichever way the fall election goes, Washington will end up with a new governor that enthusiastically supports the state’s tech industry. That’s my take on the gubernatorial candidates, Republican Rob McKenna and Democrat Jay Inslee. Both see education and innovation as keys to nourishing the high-tech sector, a cornerstone of the economy. These similarities were…

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Comments | More in Interviews | Topics: governor, inslee, mckenna

July 9, 2012 at 9:40 AM

Video and Q&A: A closer look at Microsoft’s Xbox SmartGlass

It took decades of work and billions of dollars, but Microsoft may be close to achieving one of its early goals. The combination of its Xbox console, Xbox Live network and new “SmartGlass” technology may finally make the company’s software irresistible to movie and TV studios trying to make their content more interactive. SmartGlass is a software…

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Comments | Topics: Digital media, e3, Kinect

June 11, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Q&A: Microsoft’s Mehdi on Xbox plans, SmartGlass and more

(from Sunday’s paper …) LOS ANGELES _ If you’re looking for inflection points in Microsoft’s consumer business — or at least where big deals are going down — find Yusuf Mehdi. Over two decades at Microsoft, the 46-year-old Mehdi rose to brigadier general in Microsoft’s war on Google. He played key roles guiding strategy and deals as…

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May 21, 2012 at 10:24 AM

Q&A: T-Mobile CEO on layoffs, iPhone, mergers and more

After a detour through Dallas, Philipp Humm is finally getting to reshape T-Mobile USA.

Humm reinvigorated T-Mobile’s German business before parent company Deutsche Telekom sent him to Bellevue in 2010, to rev up America’s fourth largest wireless company. But before Humm could make his mark here, Dallas-based AT&T moved to buy his company for $39 billion.

That left T-Mobile in limbo and hemorrhaging subscribers through much of 2011, until the merger collapsed under regulatory scrutiny in December.

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Before it was over, T-Mobile took another hit from the new Apple iPhone, which launched in October — on the networks of T-Mobile’s three large competitors.

Once the dust settled, the athletic German sprung into action.

In February he announced a $4 billion upgrade to LTE network technology going online in 2013. In March he consolidated call centers, closing seven of 24 In April, the company began re-branding itself as more aggressive and tech-oriented.

May’s initiative — announced last week — is a broad restructuring that includes flattening management and cutting slower-growth areas of the businesses. About 900 layoffs resulted, but Humm said 550 positions will be added through the year.

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Comments | More in Interviews | Topics: 3D, 4G, iphone

February 8, 2012 at 5:24 PM

Q&A: Microsoft Flight boss on “rebooting franchise”

Microsoft is resurrecting one of its oldest franchises, “Flight Simulator,” with an entirely new game called “Microsoft Flight” that’s debuting on Feb. 29. But instead of a new installment of the hyper-realistic, encyclopedic simulator that mostly appealed to flight enthusiasts, Microsoft built a smaller, more accessible game that’s going to be offered online for…

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Comments | Topics: Flight Simulator, Games & entertainment, Microsoft

September 28, 2011 at 10:24 PM

Q&A: Amazon Kindle exec on Fire, iPad and more

NEW YORK — Amid a mob of camera-wielding reporters and bloggers crowding around his Kindle Fire, Amazon.com Kindle Vice President Dave Limp answered a few questions about the new device at the company’s launch event Wednesday. Limp was among a handful of senior Amazon executives, who demonstrated the device and other new Kindles at the event,…

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September 19, 2011 at 6:16 PM

Q&A: Xbox studio boss on “Gears of War 3,” plus “Star Wars”

Kids are back in school and the weather’s cooling, so it must be time for rowdy video games.

Like “Gears of War 3,” a raucous, sci-fi shooter that Microsoft is releasing Tuesday, starting its Xbox holiday season with the clatter of automatic weapons and roars of attacking aliens.

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“Gears” follows a squad of muscle-bound soldiers fighting to save humanity with an array of weapons, including the game’s trademark assault rifle with a chainsaw bayonet.

But the real challenge facing “Gears” and other blockbusters coming out this fall is how much they can revive game sales, which plunged over the summer.

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Comments | More in Interviews | Topics: gears of war 3, Microsoft, modern warfare 3

June 29, 2011 at 7:40 PM

Zuckerberg on Facebook’s culture, Seattle and the intern incident

It was supposed to be off the record, but Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg decided to share during a meeting with a few reporters Wednesday night and agreed to talk openly about the company’s Seattle engineering office.

His extensive answers to a few questions also provided insights into the remarkably successful company’s internal culture and hiring strategy.

Zuckerberg is making one of his periodic visits to the Seattle office – its first real satellite development center, which has grown to about 40 people since it opened last summer.

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The office is an open space on the upper floor of a tower overlooking Elliott Bay. On Wednesday a bunch of desks were pushed aside and chairs set up to create a sort of meeting room, in which Zuckerberg was speaking to a group of potential employees.

But first he spent a half-hour with a handful of reporters, letting a slice of Pagliacci’s Margherita pizza go cold on his plate, while we talked.

He declined to specify how much the Seattle office will grow but he said Facebook is growing its engineering team by about 60 percent a year.

It could grow faster but Zuckerberg doesn’t want it to grow so fast that it overwhelms the company’s culture.

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Comments | More in Interviews | Topics: amazon, Billionaire techies, Entrepreneurs

June 8, 2011 at 5:56 PM

E3 Q&A: Sony exec on Vita, Wii U and Kinect’s hardcore push

LOS ANGELES — Sony still believes there’s a big market for handheld gaming devices like the PlayStation Vita that it launched at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, despite the surging growth of smartphones and tablet devices that run games. That’s according to John Koller, director of hardware marketing for Sony Computer Entertainment America. Koller also weighed in on…

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