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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.

Topic: re-engineering microsoft’s culture

You are viewing the most recent posts on this topic.

July 10, 2014 at 7:00 AM

Meet Peter Lee, innovation instigator who’s shaking things up at Microsoft Research

[This story is running in the print edition of The Seattle Times July 10, 2014.]

Peter Lee’s mission at Microsoft is to think big, think far and think unconventionally — and to get others to do the same.

As head of Microsoft Research (MSR), Lee is shaking things up at one of the largest computer-science research organizations in the world. Its researchers’ work has been incorporated into just about every company product, from Azure to Xbox, Bing to Windows.

But the division has also taken criticism for not helping Microsoft innovate enough, allowing companies with smaller research and development budgets, such as Apple and Google, to leap ahead in crucial areas.

Peter Lee, head of Microsoft Research, outside his office in Building 99 on Microsoft's campus. (Photo by Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times)

Peter Lee, head of Microsoft Research, outside his office in Building 99 on Microsoft’s campus. (Photo by Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times)

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May 29, 2014 at 12:46 PM

Meet Joe Belfiore and David Treadwell — two execs central to the “One Microsoft” effort

[This story is running in the print edition of The Seattle Times May 29, 2014.]

For years, Joe Belfiore and David Treadwell waged their own separate battles at Microsoft, with Belfiore helping to lead the upstart Windows Phone division and Treadwell heading Xbox software and services engineering.

But last month at Build, Microsoft’s annual developers conference, they shared the spotlight — a sign that their teams, and the company as a whole, are increasingly marching to the “One Microsoft” tune.

David Treadwell, left, and Joe Belfiore are corporate vice presidents in Microsoft's Operating Systems Group. Both have been fascinated by computers since they were young: "I just wanted to play with the computer," Belfiore said. Treadwell liked working on his grandfather's TRS-80. (Photo by Ellen M. Banner / The Seattle Times)

David Treadwell, left, and Joe Belfiore are corporate vice presidents in Microsoft’s Operating Systems Group. Both have been fascinated by computers since they were young: “I just wanted to play with the computer,” Belfiore said. Treadwell liked working on his grandfather’s TRS-80. (Photo by Ellen M. Banner / The Seattle Times)

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Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: re-engineering microsoft's culture, reorganization

April 7, 2014 at 6:00 AM

Meet Ben Gilbert, the high-energy leader of The Garage, Microsoft’s grassroots innovation hub

[This story is running in the print edition of The Seattle Times April 7, 2014.]

Ben Gilbert, who runs The Garage, sits in front of an LED wall built by Mike Matsel in the facility for less than $700. (Photo by Ellen M. Banner / The Seattle Times)

Ben Gilbert, who runs The Garage, sits in front of an LED wall built by Mike Matsel in the facility for less than $700. (Photo by Ellen M. Banner / The Seattle Times)

It doesn’t take much to get Ben Gilbert enthused.

Mention backpacking, and he’ll tell you about being an Eagle Scout and his hiking trips through Yosemite and the Grand Canyon.

Ask him about hobbies and he’ll get into his past involvement in theater and swing choir, and how the hip-hop dance skills he learned came in handy at weddings.

But what gets Gilbert most excited is when the talk turns to innovation, problem solving, startups and new business ideas.

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