Follow us:

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: Music
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.]


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

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.


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

January 7, 2009 at 11:55 PM

CES: Q&A with Microsoft entertainment boss Robbie Bach

LAS VEGAS — Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices Division, talked about layoffs (“you won’t hear us comment”), the great 2008 for Xbox and its impact on profitability, Microsoft’s deal with Verizon Wireless (creating a good mobile search experience is the key), where entertainment fits in Microsoft’s mobile strategy and more. Read on for a condensed transcript of my conversation with him Wednesday afternoon.


Comments | More in Consumer Electronics Show, Games & entertainment, Mobile, Music, Personalities, Xbox 360, Zune

December 15, 2008 at 12:15 PM

Pearl Jam releasing “Ten” for “Rock Band 2” video game simultaneous with album’s re-issue

If you’ve always wanted to rock out with Eddie Vedder to “Jeremy,” “Even Flow” and “Black” — and who hasn’t? — your chance is coming in March. Harmonix, maker of the hit music video-game series “Rock Band,” announced a deal today to release “Ten,” the breakout album from Seattle band More

Comments | More in Games & entertainment, Music

September 18, 2008 at 3:37 PM

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


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.


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

July 14, 2008 at 2:05 PM

E3: Microsoft strikes up the bands as more musicians dive in to video games

LOS ANGELES — While players are still flocking to games with guns and swords, it’s the axe that has been the surprise weapon of choice. That would be the electric guitar in “Guitar Hero,” which has taken the games world by storm in recent years. As the popularity of music games has skyrocketed, more musicians are getting into the act and seeing video games as an important distribution channel, as illustrated in several announcements from Microsoft and its partners today.


Comments | More in E3 2008, Games & entertainment, Music