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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.

Category: Devices
January 6, 2015 at 2:47 PM

Fitness trackers go mainstream. Smartwatches? Too soon to tell

Will 2015 be the year of wearable technology? (Or was it 2014? 2013?)

No matter, says Weston Henderek, who tracks the devices for data analysis firm NPD Group. One corner of the wearable device market, fitness trackers, has clearly gone mainstream: wearable fitness trackers.

“These things have really started to take off among users that aren’t fitness fanatics,” Henderek said.

An NPD survey found that fitness trackers, brought into the public consciousness in the past few years with products released by the likes of Fitbit and Nike, are owned by roughly 10% of U.S. adults (though Henderek points out a good chunk of users tend to stop using the devices after a month or two).

Microsoft jumped on the wearable fitness tracker bandwagon in October with its Band

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Comments | More in Devices | Topics: apple, microsoft, microsoft band

January 5, 2015 at 12:42 PM

Xbox will carry Sling TV, Dish’s new ESPN (and friends) web TV service

Xbox has signed on to Dish’s effort to defeat the cable bundle. Consumers who don’t want to sign up for dozens of cable channels already have range of a-la carte options, from Netflix to Hulu to old-fashioned broadcast antennae, to watch their favorite shows. What they didn’t have, until now, was a way to see live sports carried on cable…

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Comments | More in Devices | Topics: amazon, dish, microsoft

February 13, 2009 at 6:58 AM

Microsoft Zune split into hardware, software teams

CNET’s Ina Fried reports that on Jan. 22, Microsoft split its Zune digital music team in two: one focused on the software and services, which it plans to expand onto other, non-Microsoft devices, and another focused on the Zune hardware.

[Update, 12:34 p.m.: Added comments from Robbie Bach, head of Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices Division, on the rationale for the change.]

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Comments | More in Corporate organization, Devices, Mobile, Music, Zune

February 9, 2009 at 10:38 AM

Google licenses Exchange ActiveSync from Microsoft for new mobile service

mobile sync logos.JPG Google today launched Google Sync, a service that allows people to easily move and synchronize contacts and calendar items between devices. The company is licensing patents from Microsoft “covering Google’s implementation of the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync protocol on Google servers,” according to a Microsoft statement.

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Comments | More in Cloud computing, Devices, Google, Mobile, Online services

January 5, 2009 at 10:20 AM

CES: More predictions and a first wave of ‘news’

A few more CES previews and predictions out today. “[D]efinitely underwhelming” is Kara Swisher’s outlook on “the annual egregious gadgetfest in Las Vegas,” as well as Macworld in San Francisco.

Mini-Microsoft turns attention away from the layoff scuttlebutt to note that the company has a heap of negatives piling up. “No where to go but up? Opportunity certainly abounds.”

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Comments | More in Consumer Electronics Show, Devices, Digital media, Games & entertainment, Tech Economy, Video

November 11, 2008 at 11:01 AM

Microsoft, other tech companies outfitting hotels with latest gadgets

The New York Times has an interesting look at how hotels are working with technology companies to provide guests access to video games, PCs and other gadgets. The first example is a partnership between Microsoft and Sheraton Hotels and Resorts to create computer lounges in the hotel lobbies, where guests can check e-mail and record video greetings using Microsoft software. But there’s no mention of Sheraton’s use of the Microsoft Surface tabletop computer in its Seattle, New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Boston properties, which we reported on in August.

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Comments | More in Devices, Games & entertainment, Miscellaneous

September 18, 2008 at 3:37 PM

Ballmer fired up at company meeting, tells employees why Microsoft wouldn’t build an iPhone

KEN LAMBERT / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Employees arrive at Microsoft’s annual company meeting.

At Microsoft’s company meeting today, CEO Steve Ballmer was in full cheerleader mode, running around the stage, high-fiving Microsoft employees at Safeco Field, breathing hard and yelling into the microphone, said one observer, who asked to remain anonymous while describing an event that was closed to the public.

Ballmer sought to put employees’ concerns to rest, particularly around competitors Google and Apple, our tipster said.

In particular, Ballmer said he is often asked why Microsoft doesn’t do its own iPhone.

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Comments | More in Apple, Devices, Mobile, Music, Steve Ballmer

September 2, 2008 at 12:06 PM

Reports: Microsoft readying 120 gigabyte Zune as Apple announces ‘Let’s rock’ event

The portable music player war — such as it is — looks to be heating up. Microsoft is working on a 120 gigabyte Zune, according Zunerama, an enthusiast site. (Hat tip to Matt Rosoff, of Directions on Microsoft, writing at CNET.)

Meanwhile, Apple has scheduled an event for Sept. 9 that has all the markings of a new iPod launch.

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Comments | More in Apple, Devices, Zune

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