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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.

Topic: satya nadella

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January 2, 2015 at 4:02 PM

Microsoft’s U.S. workforce 47% white males, diversity data show

Microsoft has joined the ranks of technology companies releasing more-detailed diversity data.

The latest takeaway lines up with previous impressions: Microsoft’s employees are predominantly white and male.

Non-Hispanic white males make up 47% of Microsoft’s U.S. workforce, above the 31% share Census data says the group accounts for in the country as a whole.

Diversity has been something of a black eye for the technology industry, with companies from Microsoft to Google and Twitter reporting workforce demographics that don’t closely mirror the makeup of their customers or society at large. Companies have taken particular criticism for a lack of women in leadership roles, and black and Hispanic headcounts that rarely stray from the low single digits.

Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella pledged at the company’s shareholders’ meeting last month to release the company’s EEO-1 report, the diversity survey companies are required to report to the federal government. Disclosing the data was among the slate of requests the Rev. Jesse Jackson made during the civil rights leader’s recent tour through the Northwest to promote a more diverse technology industry workforce.

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Comments | More in Employees | Topics: diversity, microsoft, satya nadella

December 31, 2014 at 7:00 AM

Microsoft’s cloud ambitions could outweigh Windows 10

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks at a cloud press event in October. (Photo by Microsoft)

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks at a cloud-focused press event in October. (Photo: Microsoft)

Microsoft’s story of 2014?

Candidates abound. Satya Nadella’s appointment as Microsoft’s third chief executive. Sealing the $7.5 billion Nokia deal, Microsoft’s second-biggest acquisition (closely followed by its largest-ever layoff). The company’s new-found love for partnering with competitors.

I took a look at a few of those themes in today’s paper. But based on what executives want to talk about, Microsoft’s story of the year is clear: the pivot to the cloud.

Cloud computing, or using the web to access data and software rather than a nearby PC or server, was the topic raised most by executives and analysts on the conference calls held in 2014 after Microsoft reported quarterly earnings, garnering 178 mentions. That’s more than both Windows and Office. It also outweighs the combined discussion of PCs — the device that catapulted Microsoft from start-up to behemoth — Xbox gaming console and Surface tablet. 

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Comments | More in Cloud computing | Topics: azure, satya nadella, windows 10

December 3, 2014 at 11:53 AM

New Microsoft on display at shareholders meeting

Microsoft’s changing of the guard held the spotlight at the company’s shareholders meeting on Wednesday. Chief Executive Satya Nadella and Chairman John Thompson oversaw a scripted affair touting the company’s progress in cloud computing, hopes for the Windows 10 operating system, and efforts to create a more inclusive company. Steve Ballmer, used to spending his time on stage during his 14 years…

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Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: bill gates, satya nadella, shareholders meeting

December 3, 2014 at 6:30 AM

Microsoft’s Satya Nadella set to lead first shareholders meeting

The venue of Microsoft’s shareholders’ meeting — Bellevue’s Meydenbauer Center — will be the same as last year.

The rest is something of an open question as the company continues to stride into the post-Ballmer era with Satya Nadella’s first annual meeting at the helm.

Here are a few things to watch for in the parade of speakers and Q&A:

The vibe. Microsoft, with a soaring stock price and new-CEO-fueled corporate confidence boost, is riding pretty high these days. That hasn’t always been the case when it comes time for Microsoft to face its shareholders. Are the individual stock owners who make up the bulk of the meeting’s audience happy with the truckload of cash Microsoft has given back in the last couple years? Or eager for more?

Product updates. Windows 10, scheduled to launch sometime in the latter half of next year, is the elephant in the room. The tech blogosphere has suggested a consumer preview may arrive as early as next month.

Look out for further updates on Microsoft’s progress in cloud computing. Wall Street has come to expect a lot of Microsoft’s cloud, and the company may feel some pressure to keep the upbeat anecdotes coming.

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Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: compensation, microsoft, satya nadella

December 2, 2014 at 5:43 PM

Jesse Jackson sees progress in Microsoft’s diversity efforts

The Rev. Jesse Jackson has some harsh criticism for Microsoft and other the rest of the white- and male-dominated U.S. technology industry.

The civil rights activist thinks Microsoft at least is on the right track, though. Chief Executive Satya Nadella and other Microsoft executives sat down with Jackson on Monday. Here’s Jackson’s take on their meeting, in an interview with The Seattle Times:

We sat down and had a very good meeting. I think Microsoft sees their future growth is in inclusion.

One sees in Microsoft a much bigger willingness and effort to move toward some plan. I think they get it.

We’re going to the next step. We’re going from ‘here’s how bad we are’ to planning for goals, targets and timetables.

Jackson plans to speak at Microsoft’s shareholders meeting tomorrow at the invitation of the company. If his comments today are any indication, the discussion could be a shade less contentious than a 10-minute back and forth with Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman at that company’s investor gathering in March.

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Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: diversity, jesse jackson, microsoft

November 19, 2014 at 3:18 PM

ISS pegs Microsoft CEO pay at $90.8 million, asks investors to vote no

Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella was paid $90.8 million during the company’s most recent fiscal year. That’s according to an influential shareholder advisory firm, which is recommending shareholders vote against the pay package. Institutional Shareholder Services, which advises large investors on how to vote on corporate issues, says Microsoft shareholders should say no in the largely symbolic vote on…

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Comments | More in Compensation | Topics: microsoft, proxy statement; compensation, satya nadella

November 17, 2014 at 10:33 AM

Microsoft, tech giants urge Senate to curb government data collection

Corrected version Microsoft and a roster of tech heavy-hitters have asked the U.S. Senate to pass a bill curbing the National Security Agency’s powers to collect phone records, emails and other data in bulk. The bill, which could come up for a vote in the Senate as early as this week, also would allow companies like Microsoft to disclose the rough…

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Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: edward snowden, government, national security agency

October 15, 2014 at 5:07 PM

Nadella apologizes for pay raise advice, says Microsoft will work on pay equity, diversity

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on Wednesday apologized for remarks he had made last week at a women in computing conference, in which he said women needn’t ask for raises but to trust in the system to deliver the pay they deserve.

He called the feedback and comments he received “a humbling and learning experience.” He also said he was “100 percent committed to diversity and inclusion” at Microsoft, and that the company would be focusing immediately on equal pay for equal work, recruiting more diversity, and fostering a more inclusive culture.

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Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: satya nadella, women in tech

October 13, 2014 at 11:57 AM

Company cultures and attitudes can be barriers for women in tech

[This story ran in the print edition of the The Seattle Times Oct. 12, 2014.]

When Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said last week that women needn’t ask for raises but should trust in the system to get the pay they deserved, a firestorm of reaction ignited around the issues of unequal pay for men and women and the gender gap in the technology industry.

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Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: satya nadella, women in tech

October 9, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Nadella tells women they don’t have to ask for raises, trust the system instead [UPDATED]

Update 6:12 p.m.: Nadella has issued an email to Microsoft employees in which he says that when he was asked for advice on pay raises, “I answered that question completely wrong.” His email is here.

From earlier:

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, speaking Thursday at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing where thousands of women in tech gather each year, said women needn’t ask for raises but should trust in the system and good karma to get them the salaries they deserve.

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Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: satya nadella, women in tech

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