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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: News roundup
December 29, 2014 at 12:23 PM

Xbox outages, IRS lawsuits, and other drama you missed last week

One holiday-shortened week gone, another arrived. Here’s a rundown of the Microsoft-flavored news you missed if you had the good fortune to unplug last week:

  • The IRS has sued Steve Ballmer and a slate of other current and former Microsoft executives in an effort to get them to testify in a long running tax probe. The agency is looking into how Microsoft treated subsidiaries for tax purposes. Microsoft said it had expected to receive a notice of an increased back tax bill this month. Company lawyers also suggested the subpoenas to executives are part of a campaign to force the company to the negotiating table regarding the taxes it paid between 2004 and 2006.
  • Microsoft, along with rival Google, agreed to host streaming video of Sony’s “The Interview,” after threats of terrorist attacks spurred some theater chains to pull the film. The online gross for the film’s first four days? $15 million, according to the studio.
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Comments | More in News roundup | Topics: microsoft, seahawks, steve ballmer

June 15, 2009 at 2:34 PM

Microsoft news roundup: Bill Gates tie-less, cell phones cut, Google on Bing

Some bits and bytes on Microsoft from around the country: New York Post says Google’s co-founder Sergey Brin has a team of engineers dissecting Bing, Microsoft’s newly upgraded search engine. Early data after Bing’s launch at the beginning of June show that traffic numbers have improved for Microsoft’s search operation. MocoNews says Microsoft has stopped…

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Comments | More in Bill Gates, Bing, Employee benefits, Google, Microsoft, Mobile, News roundup, Windows Mobile

April 14, 2009 at 9:59 AM

Morning news roundup: Twitter HQ tour, laptop hunter ad spoof, Deadliest Catch ad campaign

Kara Swisher at AllthingsD visited Twitter’s office in SF. Microsoft Advertising and Discovery Channel are launching a “Deadliest Catch” ad campaign today across MSN, Xbox Live and Microsoft Mobile. The MSN ad allows you to set up a calendar reminder, get a text alert and set your DVR. CNET has a spoof…

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Comments | More in Advertising, News roundup

April 2, 2009 at 2:45 PM

Microsoft news roundup: Ad campaign in works for Microsoft search; Office on iPhone?; Inside Google’s data centers

Advertising Age reports that JWT, which has been getting more business from Microsoft of late, has landed an $80 million to $100 million advertising campaign for the company’s Internet search service, which is expected to undergo a major rebranding later this year. The story says the campaign is expected to begin in June. Microsoft’s search team had some April Fool’s fun Wednesday, poking at its branding troubles with a post announcing the debut of “MSN Windows Live Search on kumo@microsoft.com.”

Stephen Elop, president of the Microsoft Business Division, indicated an Office application that would let Apple iPhone users edit documents could be in the works. Asked at the Web 2.0 Expo today about a mobile edition of Office for the iPhone, Elop said, “Not yet — keep watching,” according to this eWeek story.

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Comments | More in Advertising, Data centers, Google, News roundup, Office, Search

March 11, 2009 at 9:02 AM

Microsoft news roundup: Extension granted in EU case; Windows Mobile app store detailed; Man wants up to $1 million from airline that lost his Xbox 360

The European Commission has given Microsoft another month to reply to the regulator’s initial finding that the company violated European competition law. Specifically, the EC said the inclusion of Internet Explorer in Windows since 1996 was in violation. The EC investigated after a complaint by rival Web browser maker Opera Software. The new deadline for Microsoft to respond to the EC’s “Statement of Objections,” issued in January, is April 21 after the EC granted its request for an extension, according to this Bloomberg report.

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Comments | More in Games & entertainment, Internet Explorer, Mobile, News roundup

February 25, 2009 at 10:50 AM

Microsoft news roundup: OEM exec says Windows 7 in September, October; Google wants to join EC antitrust proceedign against Microsoft; wrapping up TechFest

“According to current planning, it should be late September or early October.” That’s what Ray Chen, president of a Tapei OEM, Compal Electronics, told Bloomberg about when Microsoft may begin shipping Windows 7. That would put it ahead of Microsoft’s officially stated schedule, which has the new OS due by January 2010. But it would match some observers’ expectations that Microsoft will have Windows 7 available in time for the 2009 holiday season.

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Comments | More in Google, Internet Explorer, Natural user interface, News roundup, Research, Search, Windows 7

February 23, 2009 at 5:15 AM

Microsoft news roundup: New work force training program; Severance benefits overpaid; More than half of Xbox 360 users pay for Live subscription

Microsoft on Sunday launched Elevate America, a multi-part work force training effort starting in partnership with three states, including Washington. The program, billed as an expansion of existing job-training efforts, “provides immediate support in response to the current economic crisis,” the company said in a statement. Starting immediately, job seekers can learn what skills they need for technology jobs and how to get them at a new Web site that starts with the basics, such as sending e-mail, and moves up to specific Microsoft programs. The three-year effort also includes vouchers for access to the company’s eLearning courses and selected certification exams. See this story by my Seattle Times colleague Linda Shaw for more details.

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Comments | More in Compensation, Employee benefits, News roundup, Public policy & issues, Xbox 360

February 20, 2009 at 5:32 AM

Microsoft news roundup: H1-B debate continues; Windows Mobile 6.5 phone pilfered; Windows 7 update testing; Snow Leopard spotted on Live Search

Another story on the frustrations among lawmakers and labor groups at the H1-B visa program in light of layoffs at high-tech companies. Microsoft spokeswoman Ginny Terzano says in the story that some of Microsoft’s planned 2,000 to 3,000 hires in the coming year and a half will be H1-Bs — foreign guest workers — and that laid off workers aren’t always a good fit for the new positions. Another Microsoft exec acknowledged that tech companies will likely tone-down their lobbying for increases in the H1-B program. “People probably will be a lot more cautious about how public they are, but it’s not going to go away as an issue,” said Dan’l Lewin, a vice president in charge of Microsoft’s relationships with startups and venture capitalists. “You need the people.” Also see this Seattle Times story from earlier in the week on what happens to people working on H1-B visas who get laid off.

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February 19, 2009 at 5:26 AM

Kenyan students visit Microsoft; more on Vista Capable class decertification

From today’s paper: Twenty-one students from the Moi Education Center in Nairobi, Kenya, wrapped up a visit to Microsoft on Wednesday. The exposure to the company’s technology and employees — facilitated by Microsoft’s Unlimited Potential program — helped the kids, ages 8 to 13, focus on their goals of pursuing careers in technology. Read more. The…

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