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Surface losses reach $1.7B, testing the patience of Microsoft’s new leadership

Microsoft’s accumulated losses on its Surface tablets have reached $1.7 billion, according to an estimate this week by reporter Gregg Keizer of Computerworld, based on an analysis of Microsoft’s financial notes in its latest Form 10-K filing with the SEC. With cash and short-term investments of more than $85 billion, the company can certainly absorb the loss, but it’s still… Read More

T-Mobile CEO John Legere.

Sprint is giving up on T-Mobile bid, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse to be replaced, reports say

Updated at 4:30 p.m. with additional details. Sprint is abandoning its attempt to acquire T-Mobile, according to a breaking news alert this afternoon on the Wall Street Journal’s website. An initial story quotes an anonymous source saying that Sprint viewed the regulatory challenges as too difficult for the transaction. In addition, Sprint plans to replace… Read More

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Satya Nadella’s first big hire: Microsoft confirms ex-Qualcomm exec Peggy Johnson as biz dev chief

Microsoft just confirmed that it has hired Peggy Johnson, a 24-year Qualcomm veteran, as the Redmond company’s new executive vice president of global business development, reporting to CEO Satya Nadella. “Peggy shares our worldview and knows what it takes to drive new growth in mobility and the cloud,” Nadella said in a news release. “Her experience uniquely… Read More

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Employee sues Microsoft, alleging discrimination in Azure division

A longtime Microsoft employee has sued the company, alleging that she was subjected to race, gender and age discrimination in her role as a software test manager in the Microsoft Azure cloud computing division. The suit by employee Nancy Williams was first reported by the Seattle Times. It alleges that Williams’ manager gave preferential treatment to male colleagues… Read More

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New data: Nokia acquisition makes Microsoft more international — and less male

As of June 30, for the first time in its history, Microsoft’s employed fewer people in the United States than it did internationally — 62,000 compared with 66,000 — according to new numbers released by the company as part of its annual Form 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The numbers also show a massive spike in… Read More

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Geek of the Week: Software engineer Eli White makes the world his workspace

Software engineers are in high demand, and Eli White had no shortage of opportunities upon graduating from University of Washington in December 2013, after interning at Google and Airbnb, and spending almost two years at Microsoft. His experience also included a wide range of personal projects — including a World of Warcraft bot, light tubes that flashed… Read More

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Australian team wins Microsoft Imagine Cup with eye-scanning health app

Two medical students from Australia won Microsoft’s Imagine Cup global student technology competition this morning, prevailing over teams from around the world with Eyenaemia, their app for screening for anemia by taking a picture of the eye. Apart from producing an innovative app, the team of Jarrel Seah and Jennifer Tang didn’t hurt their chances by making a none-too-subtle reference… Read More

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Former MTV CEO Judy McGrath joins Amazon’s board

Former MTV Networks CEO Judy McGrath is joining the Amazon board of directors, boosting the company’s Hollywood credentials at a time when Amazon is attempting to compete aggressively in digital music and streaming video. The company disclosed McGrath’s election to the board in an SEC filing this morning. She brings the total number of Amazon directors to… Read More

Google's Brian Goldfarb addresses the audience in Seattle's Fremont neighborhood today.

Google exec: Cloud price wars have only just begun

Google’s cloud team is on a city-by-city roadshow, trying to persuade developers to use Google Cloud Platform to run their apps and online services, leveraging the technology developed by Google to run its own massive cloud services. Today the tour stopped in the backyard of Microsoft and Amazon, with a message: Cloud prices haven’t been dropping quickly enough, and Google is aiming to… Read More

Rob Glaser

Rob Glaser is officially back as RealNetworks CEO, shedding ‘interim’ title after two years

More than two years after returning as the interim CEO of RealNetworks, founder Rob Glaser was named the company’s permanent chief executive this afternoon — shedding the “interim” title and officially reclaiming the position that he held for more than 15 years. The decision by the RealNetworks board, announced this afternoon, speaks in part to the difficulty… Read More

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Amazon: Why $9.99 e-books are better for everyone, including Hachette

Amazon has gone public with new details about its high-profile standoff with book publisher Hachette, confirming that the e-commerce giant is trying to lock in a standard price of $9.99 for e-books — and making the case that the lower price is actually better for everyone involved, including the publisher. “Many e-books are being released at $14.99 and even $19.99,”… Read More

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Microsoft’s Windows Phone gets ‘Live Folders’ on Start screen

Windows Phone users, your folders have arrived. Microsoft announced the first update to Windows Phone 8.1 this morning, including a feature that will let users organize the Live Tiles on their Start screens into “Live Folders,” as the company is calling them. It’s the latest example of Microsoft doing its own spin on features previously released… Read More

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Amgen to shutter giant Seattle waterfront campus

Biotech giant Amgen says it will close its facilities in the Seattle region — including its 40-acre waterfront campus on Elliott Bay, inherited with its acquisition of Immunex more than a decade ago. The closure of the sites in Seattle and Bothell, Wash., was announced by the company this afternoon as part of a broader plan to cut between 2,400… Read More

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Inside Microsoft’s hackathon: Big ideas and new traditions at a tech giant in transition

Each fall, for many years, Microsoft employees have bundled up and made the trek to Seattle’s Safeco Field to listen as top executives attempted to inspire them with a vision for the company’s future. Satya Nadella is replacing that tradition with a new one: Under sunny summer skies in Redmond on Tuesday morning, the new Microsoft CEO cranked a siren to start a… Read More

Peggy Johnson

Microsoft hires high-ranking Qualcomm exec Peggy Johnson, report says

Microsoft has hired a high-ranking Qualcomm executive, Peggy Johnson, who most recently oversaw the semiconductor company’s strategic partnerships and its initiatives to commercialize new technologies, according to a report by Re/code, citing unnamed sources. The hire hasn’t yet been confirmed by either company, and Johnson’s expected position at Microsoft isn’t known. It would be one of the first big… Read More

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GeekWire Radio: Fire phone, iPhone 6 and Microsoft’s smartwatch, with Essex Porter and Andru Edwards

We get a glimpse of the future this week on the GeekWire radio show, talking about Amazon’s newly released Fire phone, the widely rumored iPhone 6, and Microsoft’s unannounced smartwatch — with some Windows Phone thrown in for good measure. Joining me in the studio are Andru Edwards, editor of the GearLive tech news site, who extends his record as our… Read More

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App of the Week: CoupConnect lets you manage, buy and sell daily deals

So you bought a coupon for discounted car repair, or a haircut at the local salon, but it turns out you can’t use it? An app called CoupConnect aims to solve the problem — providing a secondary market for users to buy and sell daily deals. CoupConnect, developed by Seattle-area entrepreneur Prateek Jetly, was originally launched as a way for users… Read More

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Microsoft says it will closely monitor the impact of contractor policy changes

Microsoft is getting lots of attention for a new policy that will prevent its large contract workforce from accessing company buildings and the internal network after 18 months on the job — requiring a six-month break even for “v-dash” vendors who previously were on indefinite assignments. It’s a significant change in policy that promises to make many Microsoft teams think twice about using large numbers of… Read More

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Amazon says Prime subscriptions growing ‘very nicely’ despite price increase

Amazon Prime subscriptions “are growing very nicely year over year” despite the company’s move to increase the rate of the annual subscription by $20 to $99/year, the company’s chief financial officer said on Amazon’s earnings conference call. The company added more Prime subscriptions in the second quarter than it did in the same quarter of… Read More

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Yammer co-founder David Sacks leaving Microsoft, two years after $1.2B acquisition

Yammer co-founder David Sacks is leaving Microsoft, and the team developing the business-oriented social network will be folded into the Office 365 and Outlook development teams. Sacks announced the news on Twitter this afternoon, and Microsoft confirmed the changes in a statement to ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley. The company said in the statement: “As we’ve seen… Read More