Follow us:

Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

November 20, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Microsoft’s Azure stumble a worrying one

It’s risky to play armchair psychologist. But it’s probably safe to say that one of the things that keeps Microsoft executives awake at night happened earlier this week: the company’s cloud stopped working.

A good chunk of Microsoft’s Azure cloud-computing services went offline for about 11 hours on Monday, disrupting service for Microsoft customers in the U.S., Europe and Asia. The BBC has a good rundown of how this hit some clients — from preventing health care workers from accessing their email and documents to a social media startup’s site going dark.

It’s hard to overstate the importance of the cloud for Microsoft. It’s the second part of Chief Executive Satya Nadella’s “mobile first, cloud first” mantra, and a big reason Microsoft’s done pretty well financially recently even as some other tech giants that cater to business customers faltered.

More

Comments | More in Cloud computing | Topics: azure, cloud, microsoft

November 19, 2014 at 3:18 PM

ISS pegs Microsoft CEO pay at $90.8 million, asks investors to vote no

Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella was paid $90.8 million during the company’s most recent fiscal year. That’s according to an influential shareholder advisory firm, which is recommending shareholders vote against the pay package. Institutional Shareholder Services, which advises large investors on how to vote on corporate issues, says Microsoft shareholders should say no in the largely symbolic vote on…

More

Comments | More in Compensation | Topics: microsoft, proxy statement; compensation, satya nadella

November 18, 2014 at 8:28 PM

Senate rejects Microsoft-backed NSA limits [Updated]

The Senate on Tuesday evening rejected a bill curbing the National Security Agency’s data-gathering powers, a blow to Microsoft and a coalition of technology giants that had asked Congress to restrict the spy agency’s programs.

Microsoft, along with Apple, Google and a host of technology companies, posted an open letter this weekend urging the Senate to vote to limit the NSA’s ability to gather bulk Internet and phone data. But in a vote largely along party lines — with Democrats voting yes, and Republicans, weighing in shortly after their victory in this month’s elections, opposed — the measure was rejected.

U.S. technology firms have been major players in the public debate following Edward Snowden’s leaks last year showing that the U.S. government intelligence apparatus was gathering more data than previously disclosed. The storm has damaged the business interests of companies like Microsoft, as private-sector customers and governments foreign and domestic worried about the security of their data.

More

Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: edward snowden, government, national security agency

November 17, 2014 at 4:19 PM

Soccer giant Real Madrid to announce deal with Microsoft

Microsoft is set to add another agreement to its lineup of sports marketing deals: Spanish soccer powerhouse Real Madrid.

In a brief release on its website, Real Madrid said it will announce an agreement with Microsoft at 6:30 p.m. Central European Time (9:30 a.m. Pacific for those of us not in Spain). The content of the deal isn’t much clearer after viewing the brief teaser Microsoft posted.

Real Madrid is the reigning club soccer champion of Europe and a force of nature in the sport. It’s also a global brand that routinely ranks among the most valuable sports franchises.

More

Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: marketing, microsoft, Real Madrid

November 17, 2014 at 10:33 AM

Microsoft, tech giants urge Senate to curb government data collection

Corrected version Microsoft and a roster of tech heavy-hitters have asked the U.S. Senate to pass a bill curbing the National Security Agency’s powers to collect phone records, emails and other data in bulk. The bill, which could come up for a vote in the Senate as early as this week, also would allow companies like Microsoft to disclose the rough…

More

Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: edward snowden, government, national security agency

November 14, 2014 at 5:08 PM

Microsoft reiterates opposition to increased shareholder board nominees

Microsoft says a proposal to give shareholders a greater say in candidates for the company’s board of directors could disrupt the company’s operations.

In a filing released just shy of two weeks before the company’s Dec. 3 shareholders meeting, Microsoft provided a slate of data packaged to show the company is under good stewardship and bringing in new blood to the board of directors.

An proposal up for vote at the meeting would give shareholders a greater say in board nominees. Provisions include allowing a single shareholder or a group of shareholders who’ve held a combined 3% of Microsoft stock for 3 years to nominate candidates numbering up to 40% of the board of directors.

More

Comments | More in Corporate governance | Topics: board, microsoft, shareholders meeting

November 14, 2014 at 7:00 AM

Microsoft’s free streak a cultural, not financial shift

The past couple of weeks have given plenty of ammunition to Microsoft watchers who sense a major shift in direction under chief executive Satya Nadella.

Microsoft is offering free mobile versions of its Office suite to individual customers with Apple- and Google-powered phones. The company Wednesday said it would release a more powerful set of free developer tools for its .NET programming framework.

Is Microsoft, kingdom of the sky-high profit margins, giving away the keys to the castle?

More

Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: .net, developers, microsoft

November 13, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Microsoft buys cybersecurity startup Aorato

Microsoft has purchased Israeli cybersecurity firm Aorato.

Aorato’s technology monitors activity on a company’s network, searching for anomalies and suspicious behavior, Takeshi Numoto, a Microsoft vice president of cloud and enterprise marketing, said in a blog post about the deal.

“It understands what normal behavior is and then identifies anomalies, so a company can quickly see suspicious behavior and take appropriate measures to help protect itself,” Numoto said. “Most of our enterprise customers should be able to easily take advantage of Aorato’s technology.”

More

Comments | More in Deals | Topics: cloud, deals, microsoft

November 12, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Next for a more-open Microsoft: open-sourcing .NET developer tools

The latest move in Microsoft’s recent habit of playing nicely with other platforms is a big one: the company is open-sourcing its .NET developer tools and taking them to other operating systems.

The 12-year old .NET framework, the foundation used by many developers to craft programs for Windows, will have much of its code open sourced. Its 2015 editions will also help developers build programs for Mac and Linux, the company said on Wednesday.

More

Comments | More in Microsoft, Open source | Topics: .net, developers

November 11, 2014 at 3:33 PM

Seattle police body camera maker plugs into Microsoft’s cloud

A Seattle company is rolling out the latest application for Microsoft’s expanding cloud: storing the footage taken by police cameras.

Police departments have been taking video — think dashboard cams — for decades. But with the increasing push to record more of officers’ interactions with citizens, the volume of data is growing fast.

Vievu’s answer? Upload the footage to Microsoft’s servers.

Vievu said Tuesday that it has built software on Microsoft’s Azure platform that offers law enforcement agencies the ability to send footage from the company’s line of body and car-mounted cameras to Microsoft’s data centers.

More

Comments | More in Cloud computing, Microsoft, Windows Azure | Topics: azure, government, Seattle

Next Page »