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: Online services
March 17, 2009 at 1:25 PM

Routine Hotmail maintenance affects 1 percent of users, but all should be well now

A reader reported being unable to access Windows Live Hotmail and pointed to the Windows Live Help site, where other people have reported access problems in the last 24 hours. (I counted at least 15 individuals complaining in Recent Discussions threads dated March 17. A couple others report years of e-mail disappearing from…


Comments | More in Online services, Windows Live

March 11, 2009 at 6:29 PM

Microsoft cloud services progress report

For a few years now, Microsoft’s mantra has been “software plus services,” the idea that customers can chose how they buy and consume the company’s products. For example, a business may choose whether to buy Exchange for e-mail and run it on its own servers or have Microsoft host Exchange in its data centers and provide it as a service for a per user, per month subscription. For many products, there are also third-party partner companies that offer similar hosting models for Microsoft’s business applications. Last week, I talked with three Microsoft executives about which among these options looks the best to Microsoft from a financial perspective, and how the online businesses are evolving.


Comments | More in Cloud computing, Enterprise, Financial, Online services, Windows Azure

March 2, 2009 at 5:00 AM

Microsoft Online Services expands, adds new package for ‘deskless’ workers

Microsoft continues to build out its online services offering for businesses with an upcoming expansion into Europe and Asia and a new lightweight package for workers who aren’t currently using corporate e-mail and collaboration systems. The company is announcing today that Microsoft Online Services, versions of the company’s lucrative business software for e-mail, collaboration and online meetings, will be available for trial in 19 countries in Europe and Asia, beginning in April.


Comments | More in Enterprise, Online services

February 24, 2009 at 6:15 AM

Microsoft Strategic Update: Ballmer tells Wall Street more dramatic cost cutting would be ‘imprudent’

With Microsoft’s Redmond campus largely emptied out for the winter holidays, CEO Steve Ballmer crunched the numbers on the proper level of spending for his company against the current economic climate, which he has repeatedly referred to as a “reset” rather than just a recession. Ballmer said his own estimates for the weakness and duration of the downturn tend to be more severe than those of other business leaders he meets.

With that in mind, he settled on $27.5 billion of operating expenses — a level the company aims to hold relatively steady through the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, and during its 2010 fiscal year. Ballmer made clear to financial analysts meeting in New York this morning for the company’s annual strategic update that cutting back even more significantly — say to $20 billion — would be “imprudent.”

“I think this is right,” Ballmer said.

That should give some comfort to those wondering if the modest layoffs Microsoft announced last month were the beginning of a more significant reduction. Wall Street analysts and investors are pressuring companies in every industry to continue cutting costs as sales and profits slow dramatically.

The strategic update call just came to an end. Ballmer gave a detailed look at seven major business areas for the company. Check back here later this morning for more details.

Update, 7:50 a.m.: As he told Congressional Democrats earlier this month, Ballmer said Microsoft’s corporate strategists have been evaluating past downturns — particularly those driven by “deleveraging.” The team read company annual reports from 1927 to 1938 to determine who did a good job managing through the Great Depression. “RCA, God rest them in peace, became our role model,” Ballmer said. The company was able to dominate the television business because it continued to invest during bad times, he said.

Then he broke down how Microsoft plans to invest.


Comments | More in Advertising, Apple, Enterprise, Financial, Games & entertainment, Google, Microsoft layoffs, Mobile, Office, Online services, Open source, Search, Server and tools, Steve Ballmer, Strategy, Tech Economy, Windows, Windows 7, Windows Azure, Windows Mobile, Xbox 360, Yahoo acquisition, Zune

February 12, 2009 at 7:28 PM

Microsoft’s new Online boss gets 390,422 shares, vesting over 4 years

Qi Lu, the Yahoo executive lured by Steve Ballmer to head Microsoft’s Online Services Group, was awarded 390,422 shares of company stock Wednesday, according to this SEC filing. The shares will vest as follows over the next four years: “20% on January 5, 2010, 20% on January 5, 2011, 20% on January 5,…


Comments | More in Compensation, Employee benefits, Online services, Yahoo

February 9, 2009 at 10:38 AM

Google licenses Exchange ActiveSync from Microsoft for new mobile service

mobile sync logos.JPG Google today launched Google Sync, a service that allows people to easily move and synchronize contacts and calendar items between devices. The company is licensing patents from Microsoft “covering Google’s implementation of the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync protocol on Google servers,” according to a Microsoft statement.


Comments | More in Cloud computing, Devices, Google, Mobile, Online services

January 29, 2009 at 5:18 PM

Microsoft has posted 72 job openings in Washington since layoffs announced

A week ago, Microsoft announced its first companywide layoff, letting go 1,400 people as part of a plan to cut up to 5,000 jobs in the next 18 months. But the company made clear it would continue hiring, perhaps 2,000 to 3,000 people, in strategically important areas. And judging by its U.S. online jobs site, it intends to. A search of the site for positions in Washington state brought back 72 openings posted since Jan. 22, the day the layoffs were announced.


Comments | More in Advertising, Coming and going, Google, Halo, Microsoft layoffs, Mobile, MSN, Online services, Recruiting, Search

January 14, 2009 at 2:07 PM

Speculation swirls on timeline for next version of Microsoft Office; test version of Web apps due this year

With documentation and early code going out to select testers this week, another Microsoft guessing game is gaining favor: When will the company ship the next version of Office, known as Office 14?

Earlier guesses had the company aiming for a dual Office-Windows release, as it has in the past. But speculation today points to a 2010 Office release. (Windows 7 is expected by many pundits to ship sometime later this year — despite Microsoft’s official position that January 2010 is the target.)

I had a chance to ask Justin Hutchinson, group product manager for the Office client team, about the schedule for the product last Thursday at the Consumer Electronics Show.

Q: Is there any kind of goal to have Office in step with Windows 7 as Microsoft has done in the past?


Comments | More in Apple, Google, Office, Online services, Strategy

December 4, 2008 at 1:33 PM

Qi Lu, former Yahoo search exec, appointed president of Microsoft’s Online Services business


Meet the new boss: Former Yahoo Qi Lu to lead Microsoft Online Services Group.

Just announced: “Microsoft Corp. today announced that Dr. Qi Lu will join the company as president of the Online Services Group. Dr. Lu will lead Microsoft’s efforts in search and online advertising and all the company’s online information and communications services. Dr. Lu will report to Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer.”

Brian McAndrews, senior vice president of the Microsoft Advertiser and Publisher Solutions group, is leaving the company, Microsoft said in a statement.

Updates throughout at 1:59 p.m.


Comments | More in Coming and going, Online services, Search, Steve Ballmer, Strategy, Yahoo, Yahoo acquisition

Next Page »