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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: FAM 2008
July 24, 2008 at 3:30 PM

FAM: CFO Liddell says chance of full acquisition of Yahoo “essentially negligible”

Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell just took the financial analysts here through another re-hash of Yahoo pursuit. He said the value of Yahoo has eroded since Microsoft made its acquisition offer in January. Going forward, he said, the chances of Microsoft buying all of Yahoo are so small as to be “essentially negligible.” A…

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Comments | More in FAM 2008, Financial, Yahoo acquisition

July 24, 2008 at 3:05 PM

FAM: Robotic receptionists coming to Microsoft buildings

As my colleague Brier Dudley noted, Microsoft Chief Research and Strategy Officer Craig Mundie just described spatial interaction with computers as a major new frontier in computing.

He also showed progress Microsoft has made in robotics and natural user interfaces such as speech and facial recognition. He gave one demonstration of how Microsoft is putting these big ideas in practice.

Microsoft is working on “robotic receptionists” for its buildings that will perform one of the most common but mundane tasks that the real receptionists do dozens of times a day: scheduling shuttles, Mundie said.

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Comments | More in Commuting, FAM 2008, Natural user interface, Robotics

July 24, 2008 at 2:22 PM

FAM: What about the reorg?

I was expecting more discussion at today’s Financial Analyst Meeting of the significant reorganization of the company announced late Wednesday afternoon. It could be further evidence that Kevin Johnson’s departure for Juniper Networks caught Microsoft by surprise.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer made little reference to the change, which split the giant Platforms and Services Division into two groups, one focused on Windows/Windows Live and the other on Online Services. Ballmer is taking direct oversight of both groups.

He’s due on stage again for a Q&A with analysts later this afternoon, so it may come up.

Here’s what he said this morning, introducing the section of his talk focusing on the online business and Internet search in particular:

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Comments | More in Corporate organization, FAM 2008, Steve Ballmer

July 24, 2008 at 11:32 AM

FAM: How is Windows doing with businesses?

Bill Veghte, Microsoft senior vice president of Online Services and the Windows Business Group, is telling financial analysts about the success of Windows Vista and the improvements in the product and its adoption in the last year.

On security, for example, Windows Vista is 62 percent more secure than Windows XP SP2, he said.

Microsoft has sold 180 million Vista licenses since it launched in January 2007. Sales have been “very balanced” between consumer and business customers.

Enterprises are accelerating their deployments of Vista, particularly since Microsoft released Service Pack 1 in March. Veghte said deployment is consistent with what Microsoft saw with Windows XP.

Contrast Veghte’s sunny presentation with this note from market researcher Forrester:

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Comments | More in FAM 2008, Windows Vista

July 24, 2008 at 10:52 AM

FAM: Will Microsoft set Xbox 360 pricing for market share or profit?

Microsoft Entertainment and Devices Division President Robbie Bach was just asked about pricing for the Xbox 360 at Microsoft’s Financial Analyst Meeting.

How does he evaluate the need to drive share this year and maybe lower prices versus your profitability goals, and do you want to increase your share as the cycle progresses or are you more intent on profitability?

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Comments | More in FAM 2008, Xbox 360

July 24, 2008 at 10:15 AM

FAM: Microsoft and Facebook in search deal

Microsoft has inked a search distribution deal with social networking site Facebook. Satya Nadella, senior vice president in charge of Microsoft’s search, MSN and ad platform engineering efforts, said Microsoft “will be providing an API to Facebook where they will create a rich search experience, inclusive of Web search.” It will launch in the fall, and will…

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Comments | More in Facebook, FAM 2008, Search

July 24, 2008 at 10:01 AM

FAM: Ballmer on Yahoo

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is explaining his view of the Internet search market and the company’s pursuit of Yahoo, which has been the biggest story in the tech world for the first half of the year. Ballmer repeated his mantra: Yahoo was a tactic to quickly build the scale necessary to compete in search and search…

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