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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 Janet I. Tu.

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January 29, 2014 at 2:30 PM

Google keeps most patents even as it sells Motorola phone biz to Lenovo

Google today confirmed reports that it’s selling its Motorola Mobility smartphone business to Lenovo for $2.91 billion. Interestingly, Google will keep the “vast majority of the Motorola Mobility patent portfolio, including current patent applications and invention disclosures,” the company said in a joint news release with Lenovo. “As part of its ongoing relationship with…


0 Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: google, motorola, patents

December 16, 2013 at 5:40 PM

Google hires away Microsoft distinguished engineer Blaise Agüera y Arcas

Google has hired Blaise Agüera y Arcas, one of Microsoft’s distinguished and engineers and one of the creators Microsoft’s Photosynth. Photosynth allows users to capture and piece together images into 3-D, immersive environments, and then share those 3-D creations. Arcas, who also helped develop Bing Maps, will work on machine learning at Google, according to a More

0 Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: Blaise Agüera y Arcas, google

December 3, 2013 at 12:58 PM

Microsoft helping NORAD track Santa

Home page of the NORAD Santa Tracker 2013 (Photo from Microsoft)

Home page of the NORAD Santa Tracker 2013 (Photo from Microsoft)

[This post has been updated with information on Microsoft's/NORAD's and Google's Santa Trackers.]

NORAD is again partnering with Microsoft this year to power its popular Santa Tracker, after first switching from Google to Microsoft last year to do so.

The NORAD Santa Tracker, which is now live, is a  showcase this year for Internet Explorer.


0 Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: google, internet explorer, santa tracker

September 5, 2013 at 1:44 PM

Presiding juror in Microsoft-Motorola trial a renowned geneticist

Among the interesting tidbits to come out of the recently concluded Microsoft-Motorola patent trial is this fact: The presiding juror was Mary-Claire King, a University of Washington professor and a renowned geneticist who played a leading role in the identification of breast cancer genes. King, who declined to comment on the trial, led the…


0 Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: google, motorola, patents

September 4, 2013 at 4:04 PM

Jury decides in Microsoft’s favor in patent battle with Motorola

The jury in a long-running patent trial between Microsoft and Motorola has decided in Microsoft’s favor, saying that Motorola breached its agreements to provide  licenses to certain of its patents on fair and reasonable terms.

The U.S. District Court jury in Seattle, which deliberated for about three hours, awarded Microsoft about $15 million in damages — about half of what Microsoft had sought.

This means that Microsoft has won both rounds of a patent battle in which the court decided that Motorola’s patents in the case were worth far less than Motorola Mobility, now owned by Google, had initially asked Microsoft  for.


0 Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: google, motorola, patents

August 26, 2013 at 6:15 AM

Microsoft and Motorola return to court for more patent battling

[Update 9:20 p.m.: My story from today's Day 1 of the trial is here.]

From earlier:

[Note: I will be at the courthouse starting at 9 a.m. Monday to cover the opening day of this trial. Jury selection is scheduled to take place in the morning; opening statements may start as soon as this afternoon. Follow along on Twitter at @janettu.]

Microsoft and Motorola head to federal court in Seattle today for the start of part 2 of a patent trial that has become part of the larger battle between Microsoft and Google, which now owns Motorola Mobility.

A jury will decide whether Motorola breached its agreement to provide certain of its industry-standard patents to Microsoft on fair and reasonable terms.


0 Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: google, motorola, patent

July 12, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Microsoft sues U.S. Customs, seeks to enforce ban on some Motorola phones

Microsoft today filed a lawsuit against U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security seeking a court order forcing Customs to enforce an import ban against certain Motorola smartphones.

The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court of Washington D.C., accuses the U.S. agencies of “arbitrary refusal to enforce an order” of the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC).


0 Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: customs, google, import ban

June 11, 2013 at 3:52 PM

Microsoft, too, urging greater government transparency on security requests

Microsoft this afternoon joined several other high-tech companies in urging the U.S. government to permit more transparency on some of the national security requests it makes of tech companies.

The move came after reports broke last week in The Guardian and The Washington Post about a U.S. government surveillance program code-named PRISM, which targets primarily foreigners. It  allows the U.S. government access to  user information from computer servers of Microsoft and eight other technology companies.

“Permitting greater transparency on the aggregate volume and scope of national security requests, including FISA orders, would help the community understand and debate these important issues,” the company said in a statement.

Microsoft was referring to orders issued by the government under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The tech companies are not allowed to disclose the number or scope of FISA orders it gets, or even, according to The New York Times, to acknowledge that those orders exist.


0 Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: facebook, fisa, google

May 24, 2013 at 1:36 PM

Microsoft to Windows Phone users: Download the old YouTube app while we work with Google to update the new one

On Thursday, Microsoft released an updated version of its recent YouTube app for Windows Phone, after Google had complained that the app was violating YouTube’s terms of service.

Today, Microsoft has pulled that updated version, which had addressed some of Google’s concerns, telling users to instead download its old YouTube app while it works with Google to create an updated app that complies with all of Google’s requirements.

“Microsoft and YouTube are working together to update the new YouTube for Windows Phone app to enable compliance with YouTube’s API terms of service, including enabling ads, in the coming weeks,”  the two companies said in a statement. “Microsoft will replace the existing YouTube app in Windows Phone Store with the previous version during this time.”

Though the current app is being removed from the Windows Phone Store, it will still work on Windows Phones for those who’ve already installed it.


0 Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: google, windows phone, youtube

May 23, 2013 at 3:53 PM

ITC rules Microsoft’s Xbox doesn’t infringe on Motorola patent

The U.S. International Trade Commission has decided to make final a judge’s preliminary ruling that Microsoft’s Xbox console does not infringe on a Motorola patent.

The decision brings to a close a case in which Motorola — now owned by Google — had sought an import ban into the U.S. of all Xbox consoles, claiming that certain technologies used in the Xbox violate Motorola’s patents. (Xbox console are manufactured mainly in China.)


0 Comments | Topics: google, itc, motorola

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