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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: Server and tools
April 1, 2009 at 6:01 AM

Microsoft targets very small businesses with new server

Microsoft is introducing a new low-price, entry-level server for small businesses with fewer than 15 employees as a way to introduce them to the company’s broader server software line and address falling server hardware prices.

“If somebody can buy a $500 server, they’re a little loathe to spend $500 for the server operating system that goes with it,” Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said last month, explaining the new version of Windows Server to financial analysts.

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Comments | More in Server and tools, Small business

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.

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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

January 5, 2009 at 3:43 PM

Microsoft promotes Bob Muglia to president of Server and Tools business

MICROSOFT

Muglia.

Microsoft rewarded one of its longest-serving executives, Bob Muglia, with a promotion today. He was named president of the Server and Tools Business, an operating segment that has turned in a streak of 25 consecutive quarters of double-digit growth. It’s not immediately clear whether the change is part of an organizational shift that would make Server and Tools its own division.

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Comments | More in Server and tools

December 11, 2008 at 11:07 AM

Morgan Stanley cuts Microsoft targets; Muglia says IT budgets “cramped”

Analysts at Morgan Stanley cut their price target on Microsoft shares to $24 and also lowered its estimates. Microsoft shares were down 88 cents, 4.3 percent, to $19.73 in mid-afternoon trading on the Nasdaq.

Meanwhile, Ina Fried at CNET interviews Bob Muglia, senior vice president of the Microsoft Server and Tools Division, who said “IT budgets are cramped. It’s not like IT is going to dramatically contract, but it is certainly slowing pretty dramatically.”

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Comments | More in Financial, Server and tools

December 8, 2008 at 3:16 PM

Dell’s Humidors packed with ‘puro’ servers for Microsoft?

Ellen M. Banner / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Stacy Thrasher, great grand-daughter of F. K. Kirsten, poses for a photo inside my favorite local humidor.

Wondering who’s going to build all the shipping containers preloaded with server computers to supply Microsoft’s ambitious modular data center strategy? Dell, for one, is already scoring some of the business with a double-decker model code-named “Humidor.”

Before we go much further, isn’t that just a great code name? There are so many awful code names in tech, it’s nice to see one that makes sense.

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Comments | More in Cloud computing, Hardware, Server and tools

November 18, 2008 at 2:25 PM

Microsoft software runs 10th fastest supercomputer, Seattle’s Cray has four in top 10

Two years after fielding its first software designed specifically for supercomputers, Microsoft has cracked the top 10 list of the world’s fastest machines. Its Windows HPC Server 2008 powers the Shanghai Supercomputer Center’s “Dawning 5000A“, which was clocked at 180.6 teraflops — trillions of floating point operations per second — for the twice-annual TOP500 list of supercomputers.

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Comments | More in Cray, High-performance computing, Server and tools

October 27, 2008 at 10:50 PM

PDC: Microsoft’s Muglia on profit margins for Windows Azure, opportunities to work with Amazon

LOS ANGELES — Bob Muglia, senior vice president of Microsoft’s server and tools business, shared his expectations of the impact Microsoft’s new services platform will have on company profit margins, where he sees opportunities for collaboration with Amazon.com — the company’s biggest cloud competitor not named Google — and more in an interview earlier today.

Check out these edited excerpts of our conversation. I’ve put the particularly interesting bits in bold for easier scanning.

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Comments | More in Cloud computing, Financial, Online services, PDC2008, Server and tools, Strategy, Windows Azure

October 6, 2008 at 11:36 AM

Microsoft’s vision for business intelligence for everyone, even in ‘Halo 3’

Microsoft wants to “democratize” business intelligence software so that everyone who does office work can know when they’re missing their quarterly targets, not just the 10 to 25 percent of employees who do now. At its business intelligence conference in Seattle today, executives laid out their strategy to expand usage of this category of software.

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Comments | More in Data centers, Office, Server and tools, Strategy

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