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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.

February 2, 2009 at 6:00 AM

Microsoft news roundup: Xbox takes a page from Tupperware’s book; former Yahoo to head MSN in U.S.; Mac market share gains; Opera Software’s North American plan; tech in Africa

Microsoft took a page from Tupperware’s marketing book in a bid to expand the audience of Xbox Live, its online entertainment and gaming network. According to a Gannett News Service story, the company gave women $150 worth of Xbox goods to enhance marketing parties they hosted in their homes, using their own Xbox consoles.

“We’ve sold 20 million consoles to date globally since we launched three years ago,” Heather Snavely, Microsoft’s director of interactive entertainment business global platforms, told the news service. “In order to get to the next 20 million, we need to get a new audience of women and teens. We’re going after them in ways that are different than ways we’ve done before.”

(Via Silicon Alley Insider.)

Scott Moore, most recently a top media exec at Yahoo, is joining Microsoft as U.S. Executive Producer for MSN, the company said this morning, confirming last week’s rumors. According to a spokesperson, Moore will join Microsoft in mid-March, reporting to Greg Nelson, general manager of MSN’s global media group. He will lead content and programming strategy for the US business. Moore worked for Microsoft between 1995 and 2005 as president of and publisher of, among other roles.

A fresh batch of numbers from Net Applications shows the Mac’s share of Internet traffic increased to nearly 10 percent in January, while Windows continued to decline. Joe Wilcox doesn’t buy it, questioning the methodology used to determine operating system market share by measuring Internet traffic. For more background, check out this post on Net Applications’ November 2008 numbers, which showed Windows slipping below 90 percent market share.

Rod Hamlin, Opera Software‘s top sales executive for the Americas, laid out the browser-maker’s plans for lifting its market share in North America during an interview last week, published in today’s paper. No, there wasn’t a Super Bowl ad, but the company is launching a marketing campaign this spring that will target San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, Chicago, New York and L.A.

Ashesi University, founded in Ghana by a former Microsoft engineer, is poised to expand its campus, making room for facilities to teach science and engineering on top of the business, management and computer science courses it currently offers, reports my colleague, Brier Dudley, in today’s column. “I would say the school has entered a second chapter in its existence. A lot of the story now is about the success of our alumni but also our success in achieving what we set out to do educationally and financially,” Patrick Awuah, the university’s founder told Dudley.

Another story of progress in Africa: The Internet has reached a remote Kenyan village and the end of dirt road with no power or phone lines. The people there previously received information from bundles of newspapers delivered every few weeks. “[T]hree young engineers from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, with financial backing from Google, installed a small satellite dish powered by a solar panel, to hook up a handful of computers in the community center to the rest of the world,” reports The New York Times.

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