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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: xbox

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January 24, 2014 at 12:58 PM

Microsoft hires Ari Mark for Xbox Entertainment

Microsoft has hired Ari Mark, a former AMC programming director, as head of unscripted programming for Xbox Entertainment Studios, according to Deadline Hollywood. Mark has been vice president of development at AMC, director of development at Embassy Row and manager of original programming and development at the Sundance Channel, according to his LinkedIn profile. At AMC,…

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December 19, 2013 at 8:17 AM

Xbox Entertainment Studios producing original documentary series

It’s not only Netflix and Amazon.com that are getting into producing their own original programming.

Xbox Entertainment Studios, created in 2012, has slowly been getting into the game. It had announced its first first original program — “Halo, the Television Series,” produced by Steven Spielberg — in May.

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September 26, 2013 at 3:17 PM

Microsoft demonstrates cloud gaming service

At Microsoft’s annual company meeting today, executives reportedly demonstrated the cloud gaming streaming service  it’s been working on. The company apparently demonstrated “Halo 4” being streamed to a Windows Phone and PC, according to The Verge. Microsoft has been emphasizing cloud services as part of its shift into a devices-and-services company, and the gaming arena is…

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July 8, 2013 at 6:10 AM

Microsoft puts an end to MSN TV (formerly WebTV)

Microsoft is ending MSN TV (formerly called WebTV) service on Sept. 30, marking an end to one of Microsoft’s many attempts to become a major presence in TV and home entertainment.

Microsoft purchased WebTV networks in 1997 for $425 million — at that time its largest acquisition ever. WebTV was a Palo Alto-based company that provided technology that enabled people to use their TVs to browse the Internet. For a lower price than a typical PC, WebTV allowed users to surf the Web and handle emails via their TV and a wireless keyboard.

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July 3, 2013 at 2:33 PM

Mattrick getting $50 million-plus compensation package from Zynga

Don Mattrick

Don Mattrick

Don Mattrick, the Microsoft exec in charge of Xbox who will be taking over as Zynga’s CEO on July 8, is getting a compensation package from the social-games company worth at least $50 million.

Mattrick will receive a one-time signing bonus of $5 million plus an annual base salary of $1 million, Zynga disclosed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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July 2, 2013 at 5:45 AM

On Don Mattrick’s departure and the rumored reorg

[This story is running in today’s print edition of The Seattle Times.]

Don Mattrick, who has been president of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business, is leaving to become Zynga's CEO.  (Photo from Microsoft)

Don Mattrick, who has been president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business for three years, is leaving to become Zynga’s CEO. (Photo from Microsoft)

Don Mattrick, head of the Microsoft division that produces Xbox, is leaving to lead social-game company Zynga — a move that could signal the first big-name jumping of ship from Microsoft in an expected companywide reorganization.

Mattrick, 49, who has been president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business for three years, will become Zynga CEO and a member of its board starting Monday.

Mark Pincus, Zynga’s founding CEO, will remain chairman of the board and Zynga’s chief product officer.

There’s been speculation that Mattrick’s move could have been motivated by a reorganization that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has reportedly been working on and that could be announced as soon as Tuesday.

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June 10, 2013 at 2:46 PM

Xbox One: Roundup of news

Microsoft announced this morning at the E3 gaming conference that its upcoming Xbox One system will be available in stores for $499.99 starting in November. The price includes the Xbox One console (which has a 500GB hard drive, Blu-ray player and built-in Wi-Fi), the new Kinect, an Xbox One Wireless Controller and a 14-day…

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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.)

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April 29, 2013 at 11:38 AM

Six months after Windows 8’s launch, how is Microsoft doing?

In case you missed it, this story — looking at how Microsoft is faring six months after the launch of Windows 8 — is running in the print edition of The Seattle Times today.

Here are some additional thoughts from analysts that didn’t make it into the story:

Rick Sherlund, Nomura:

  • “Windows 8 is trying to reposition Microsoft in the tablet market and at the same time trying to preserve its presence in the traditional Windows market. And so far, it hasn’t resonated well in the tablet market. I think the real opportunity for Microsoft will be in the evolution of notebooks as they converge with these tablets.”
  • “I think it’s really hard for Microsoft to break into the consumer tablet market where Apple already dominates with their product and with iTunes for content. Google is probably the real competition, long term, to be concerned about.”
  • On rumors that Microsoft may be coming out with a 7-inch tablet device: “Office is where Microsoft has the most leverage. … I don’t know that the 7-inch form factor is a very good device for using Office. I don’t know if I would expect that to be a big seller for Microsoft. But you have to be there (in the 7-inch/small tablet space)  – it’s obviously a big seller for consumers.”
  • On rumors that the smaller tablet might be branded an Xbox tablet or have a strong Xbox branding or gaming component: “I like that idea – it appeals more and leverages more of their strength on the consumer side. (If Microsoft did this), it would be a more netbook style model: a Windows-type device at a lower price point, reduced capabilities. And try to throw in some Office capability for those who want Outlook and the ability to read and edit some attachments. … But if you don’t really need Office, then I think it’s important that Microsoft try to find some lever to try to find demand for their products. If you can leverage some Xbox capabilities that would appeal to a consumer, maybe throw some Skype in — Microsoft has to throw in a hook to leverage its appeal to the consumer.”

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Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: blue, office, server and tools

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