Steven VanRoekel, U.S. Chief Information Officer.

Interview: White House forms strike force of top geeks for tough tech projects

A newly formed federal team called the U.S. Digital Service will help governmental agencies learn from the way modern tech companies develop, roll out and run large technology projects. The initiative was announced this week in Washington, D.C., by Steven VanRoekel, the U.S. chief information officer, who worked for many years at Microsoft, including a stint as Bill Gates’ strategy… Read More

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Meet Microsoft’s cell phone: Nokia 130 will sell for $25

Microsoft’s decision to wind down Nokia’s Asha, Series 40 and Nokia X Android phones, following its acquisition of Nokia’s phone business, doesn’t mean it’s exiting the market for basic mobile phones. The company this morning announced a new device, the Nokia 130. It includes some advanced features like video and music playback, and a flashlight, plus content sharing via SD card,… Read More

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Hachette CEO replies to Amazon fans: ‘These punitive actions are not necessary’

Amazon this weekend took the unusual step of asking authors and readers to send a message to Hachette Book Group CEO Michael Pietsch, appealing to the publisher to support Amazon’s push for lower e-book prices. The company even published Pietsch’s email address, with suggested talking points. As it turns out, Pietsch isn’t just filing the messages away or hitting delete…. Read More

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Amazon playing hardball with Disney, nixing preorders for upcoming DVDs

Amazon is declining to offer pre-orders for upcoming DVD and Blu-ray versions of Disney movies including “Muppets Most Wanted,” “Maleficent,” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” — reportedly holding back the option from customers as a tactic in its contract negotiations with the studio. The move, first reported by Home Media Magazine, mirrors Amazon’s tactics in its previous negotiations… Read More

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GeekWire Radio: Amgen and the state of Seattle biotech, with guest Luke Timmerman

Amgen dealt a blow to Seattle’s biotech industry last week with the announcement that it will be closing its large research-and-development campus on Elliott Bay, which dates back to its acquisition of Immunex more than a decade ago. So what does this closure mean for the biotech industry? Our guest this week is Luke Timmerman, the veteran biotechnology journalist, who… Read More

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Geek of the Week: Jean Paoli, president of Microsoft Open Technologies

There was a time when Microsoft and “open technologies” were diametrically opposed, but the Redmond company has increasingly been changing its approach, and philosophy, when it comes to open source technologies, interoperability and standards. One sign of that change: The creation of Microsoft Open Technologies in 2012. The subsidiary is led by Jean Paoli, a Microsoft veteran… Read More

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Say farewell to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 8 … in 2016

Microsoft announced new support policies for Internet Explorer today: Starting on Jan. 12, 2016, the company will only support the most recent version of the browser available for a particular version of Windows. “Running a modern browser is more important than ever for the fastest, most secure experience on the latest Web sites and services, connecting anytime,… Read More

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Rhapsody tops $42M in quarterly revenue, but loss widens, filing shows

Rhapsody’s quarterly revenue reached nearly $42.5 million in the second quarter — an increase of 22 percent — but the music service’s loss widened to $4.7 million, from a loss of $4.4 million a year ago. Rhapsody is an independent, privately held company, but the company’s financial results were disclosed this morning in a quarterly regulatory filing… Read More

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Barnes & Noble and Google to test same-day book delivery, swiping at Amazon

Google will offer online shoppers same-day delivery of books from Barnes & Noble stores, under a new partnership that aims to help the companies compete more aggressively with Amazon.com, their common rival. The service will be tested in Manhattan, West Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, launching on Thursday, according to a report tonight by the New… Read More

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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