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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: Digital media
May 28, 2009 at 9:25 AM

Can Microsoft get a big bang out of Bing?

As expected, Microsoft took the wraps off its overhauled search engine this morning, introducing a new brand name, Bing. The Wall Street Journal reported online that Chief Executive Steve Ballmer was demonstrating Bing at the Journal’s D: All Things Digital conference in Carlsbad, Calif. Here’s Microsoft’s release on the introduction. The Journal’s report said the…

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Comments | More in Advertising, Branding, Digital media, Google, Microsoft, Search, Steve Ballmer, Windows Live

May 26, 2009 at 9:10 AM

Get ready to hear a lot about Bing, says Ad Age

It looks like Microsoft’s long-awaited revamp of Live Search is about to unfurl. Last week, word leaked out that the company would be unveiling its updated search engine, code-named Kumo, at The Wall Street Journal’s D: All Things Digital conference, which takes place this week in Carlsbad, Calif. Steve Ballmer is on the roster of…

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Comments | More in Advertising, Apple, Branding, Digital media, Google, Microsoft, Search, Windows Live

February 4, 2009 at 5:27 AM

Video: German composer uses Microsoft Songsmith to give global recession a musical score

A German composer, Johannes Kreidler, has found another interesting use for Microsoft’s new Songsmith musical accompaniment software. His composition, Charts Music, derives melodies from stock-price charts of Lehman Brothers, Bank of America, GM and other major global companies and market indexes, as well as unemployment rates and other indicators. The melodies are plugged into Songsmith to create short, unsettling songs for each chart. Kreidler doesn’t limit himself to traditional financial indicators. He also includes charts of Iraq War deaths and growth in the porn industry. [Update, 6:05 a.m.: Kreidler explains more about the how and why of his composition after the jump.]

[do action=”brightcove-video” videoid=”10056852001″][/do]

Via the Telegraph.

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Comments | More in Digital media, Games & entertainment, Music, Tech Economy, Video

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

December 19, 2008 at 9:16 AM

A very ‘Halo’ wedding

Halo Bride and Groom.jpg

Desirai Labrada and John Henry met in December 2004 on Xbox Live. They were playing “Halo 2,” the blockbuster second installment of the game series from Kirkland-based Bungie and Microsoft that helped fuel growth of Microsoft’s video game business. She was in New York, he was in Florida. They logged on daily to play together, blasting away as love blossomed.

Now, they’re planning a “Halo”-themed wedding for a gaming show in January. And their school — Full Sail University, an entertainment-focused institution near Orlando — sent out a press release to announce it. (Engagement photo of Labrada and Henry distributed by Full Sail University.)

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Comments | More in Digital media, Games & entertainment, Halo, Miscellaneous, Online Communities, Personalities

November 24, 2008 at 10:46 AM

Microsoft gets exclusive distribution of “The Guild” via Xbox, Zune, MSN

the guild logo.gifMicrosoft is adding to its stable of independent and original online video with a deal to distribute “The Guild,” a popular Web-only show about a band of online gamers. Its second season will be available exclusively on Xbox Live, MSN and Zune, according to The Hollywood Reporter (via Reuters).

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Comments | More in Digital media, Games & entertainment, Video, Xbox 360

October 13, 2008 at 9:04 AM

Microsoft releases Silverlight 2, says one in four ‘has access’ to plug-in

As expected, Microsoft announced the release of Silverlight 2, its platform for online media and rich Internet application development. It will be available for download here Tuesday morning. As part of the announcement this morning, Microsoft’s Scott Guthrie said “one in four consumers worldwide has access to a computer with Silverlight already installed.”

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Comments | More in Adobe, Digital media, Web browsers

October 7, 2008 at 9:30 AM

Microsoft and NYU partnering on research into video games that teach math, science

Microsoft, New York University and several other New York-area schools are launching an initiative to study how video games can be applied to education. The Games For Learning Institute will “focus on evaluating computer games as potential learning tools for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects at the middle-school years (grades 6-8).”

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Comments | More in Digital media, Education, Games & entertainment, Public policy & issues, Research

July 14, 2008 at 11:26 AM

E3: Microsoft partnering with Netflix, NBC, others to challenge as top video destination

LOS ANGELES — Microsoft is spending a major chunk of its press conference at the video game industry’s big annual conference here describing new television and video distribution deals for the Xbox Live network, which has more than 12 million members.

The company is distributing television shows from NBC, movies from Universal Studios, and in probably the biggest piece of news: adding a huge library of movies through Netflix.

Speculation about whether Microsoft would do a deal with Netflix has swirled since at least March of last year, when Reed Hastings, founder, chairman and chief executive of the DVD-by-mail video-rental service, joined Microsoft’s board of directors.

The details of the partnership and how Xbox Live subscribers will get access to the Netflix library weren’t fully fleshed out. I’ll update when I learn more.

See this post for more from Microsoft’s E3 press conference.

Update, 12:59 p.m.: The partnership will allow consumers to “instantly stream movies and TV episodes from Netflix to the television via the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system,” according to a more detailed statement from Microsoft.

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Comments | More in Digital media, E3 2008, Xbox 360

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