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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.

October 20, 2006 at 5:14 PM

So 10 minutes ago: A review of the week of Oct. 15

Tech news

First big week of heavyweight tech earnings news. Thumbs up: Google (big time), Apple Computer (though something else may be keeping Steve Jobs up at night), IBM, Intel. Thumbs down: Yahoo! This week: Microsoft, on Thursday.

Microsoft

Speaking of Redmond, Internet Explorer 7 — the first upgrade of the software at the heart of Microsoft’s landmark antitrust case since 2001 — was launched last week. Not to be outdone, the increasingly competitive Firefox from Mozilla is expected with a new version next week. Ben Romano looked at and what’s at stake.

Meanwhile, the spat between Microsoft on one hand and Symantec and McAfee on the other gets nastier by the day. And this war of the Montagues and Capulets over access to Vista’s inner workings promises to keep going until Vista hits the street.

Icos

One of the poster companies of the local biotech industry has been Icos, which started 16 years ago, drew financing from high-profile investors including Bill Gates and developed a blockbuster in an impotence drug, Cialis. So it has to be a blow to Washington as a biotech center when it was announced this week that Eli Lilly, the Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical giant, is acquiring the company for $2.1 billion. Luke Timmerman provided insightful, comprehensive coverage of the landscape-shaking event.

Biotech

Luke has had a busy week. He also reported that SonoSite, the Bothell maker of portable ultrasound machines, said it’s missing sales and profit goals for the year, taking some wind out of its shares. And Trubion Phamaceuticals, which is developing drugs aimed at autoimmune diseases and cancer, gained 9 cents on the first day of trading after a $13-a-share intital public offering.

Saflink

The Eastside biometric technology company, now based in Kirkland, has seen its share of ups and downs — mostly downs — in previous years. Kim Peterson reported on the company’s announcement Thursday that it was cutting more than half its staff and narrowing its business focus.

Philanthropy

At a time the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize is Muhammad Yunus, the Bangladeshi pioneer of microcredit, Kristi Heim looks at how the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Redmond-based Unitus are attempting make this financing for the world’s poor even stronger.

Quote of the week

For people content to stay with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser, “that’s great because they get a better browser in IE7. For others, there’s going to be a realization that maybe I should look around … and decide what the best browser is for me on the desktop. Who knows what will happen in the market?”

— Mike Schroepfer, vice president of engineering of Mozilla, in what will have to pass for fighting words in the browser, um, war

If you missed it …

On Monday, Brier Dudley looked at the YouTube-Google deal from a different lens, raising questions and thoughts about how being ahead of your time and how business is done in Puget Sound. More than water-cooler talk.

Comments | More in Week in review

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