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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: Microsoft
November 18, 2014 at 8:28 PM

Senate rejects Microsoft-backed NSA limits [Updated]

The Senate on Tuesday evening rejected a bill curbing the National Security Agency’s data-gathering powers, a blow to Microsoft and a coalition of technology giants that had asked Congress to restrict the spy agency’s programs.

Microsoft, along with Apple, Google and a host of technology companies, posted an open letter this weekend urging the Senate to vote to limit the NSA’s ability to gather bulk Internet and phone data. But in a vote largely along party lines — with Democrats voting yes, and Republicans, weighing in shortly after their victory in this month’s elections, opposed — the measure was rejected.

U.S. technology firms have been major players in the public debate following Edward Snowden’s leaks last year showing that the U.S. government intelligence apparatus was gathering more data than previously disclosed. The storm has damaged the business interests of companies like Microsoft, as private-sector customers and governments foreign and domestic worried about the security of their data.

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Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: edward snowden, government, national security agency

November 17, 2014 at 4:19 PM

Soccer giant Real Madrid to announce deal with Microsoft

Microsoft is set to add another agreement to its lineup of sports marketing deals: Spanish soccer powerhouse Real Madrid.

In a brief release on its website, Real Madrid said it will announce an agreement with Microsoft at 6:30 p.m. Central European Time (9:30 a.m. Pacific for those of us not in Spain). The content of the deal isn’t much clearer after viewing the brief teaser Microsoft posted.

Real Madrid is the reigning club soccer champion of Europe and a force of nature in the sport. It’s also a global brand that routinely ranks among the most valuable sports franchises.

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Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: marketing, microsoft, Real Madrid

November 17, 2014 at 10:33 AM

Microsoft, tech giants urge Senate to curb government data collection

Corrected version Microsoft and a roster of tech heavy-hitters have asked the U.S. Senate to pass a bill curbing the National Security Agency’s powers to collect phone records, emails and other data in bulk. The bill, which could come up for a vote in the Senate as early as this week, also would allow companies like Microsoft to disclose the rough…

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November 14, 2014 at 7:00 AM

Microsoft’s free streak a cultural, not financial shift

The past couple of weeks have given plenty of ammunition to Microsoft watchers who sense a major shift in direction under chief executive Satya Nadella.

Microsoft is offering free mobile versions of its Office suite to individual customers with Apple- and Google-powered phones. The company Wednesday said it would release a more powerful set of free developer tools for its .NET programming framework.

Is Microsoft, kingdom of the sky-high profit margins, giving away the keys to the castle?

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Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: .net, developers, microsoft

November 12, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Next for a more-open Microsoft: open-sourcing .NET developer tools

The latest move in Microsoft’s recent habit of playing nicely with other platforms is a big one: the company is open-sourcing its .NET developer tools and taking them to other operating systems.

The 12-year old .NET framework, the foundation used by many developers to craft programs for Windows, will have much of its code open sourced. Its 2015 editions will also help developers build programs for Mac and Linux, the company said on Wednesday.

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November 11, 2014 at 3:33 PM

Seattle police body camera maker plugs into Microsoft’s cloud

A Seattle company is rolling out the latest application for Microsoft’s expanding cloud: storing the footage taken by police cameras.

Police departments have been taking video — think dashboard cams — for decades. But with the increasing push to record more of officers’ interactions with citizens, the volume of data is growing fast.

Vievu’s answer? Upload the footage to Microsoft’s servers.

Vievu said Tuesday that it has built software on Microsoft’s Azure platform that offers law enforcement agencies the ability to send footage from the company’s line of body and car-mounted cameras to Microsoft’s data centers.

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Comments | More in Cloud computing, Microsoft, Windows Azure | Topics: azure, government, Seattle

November 11, 2014 at 10:50 AM

Microsoft taps Skype for business, will replace Lync

Microsoft says its will offer a version of its Skype voice and video chat software for business customers, phasing out its Lync business software in the first half of next year.

This was a long time coming. It was natural to wonder why Microsoft continued to develop its own business-focused communications tool after shelling out $8.5 billion to buy Skype in the first place. Microsoft linked Lync — itself the successor to Microsoft Office Communicator — and Skype functionality last year.

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Comments | More in Enterprise, Microsoft, Video | Topics: microsoft, skype

November 10, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Longtime Microsoft HR chief Lisa Brummel to leave at year-end

Lisa Brummel, who has led Microsoft human resources for nearly a decade, will step down at the end of the year.

Lisa Brummel (Photo: Microsoft)

Lisa Brummel (Photo: Microsoft)

Brummel, a 25-year veteran of the company and part-owner of the Seattle Storm, joined Microsoft in 1989 after earning a master’s in business administration from UCLA. She has held a variety of roles in management and marketing in Microsoft’s hardware, consumer and productivity businesses, and has led human resources since 2005.

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November 7, 2014 at 10:06 AM

Microsoft teases beginning of its post-Nokia smartphone era

Microsoft is set to reveal what may be its first smartphone offering since announcing it was ditching the Nokia brand in favor of Lumia for its flagship Windows Phones.

In a teaser posted to the company’s Nokia blog, Microsoft invited guests seeking “#morelumia” to come back to the page on Tuesday, posting a photo of what appears to be a curved Lumia device.

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