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Alibaba opening Seattle-area outpost, recruiting developers and expanding U.S. presence as IPO nears

Chinese e-commerce and technology giant Alibaba is recruiting for Seattle-based engineering jobs, signaling plans to open a new outpost in Amazon’s backyard in advance of Alibaba’s initial public offering. Recent email messages from the Entrepreneurs & Experts in Seattle group, Alibaba’s strategic partner in the Seattle region, list a series of job openings for mobile engineering positions — offering… Read More

Video thumbnail for youtube video It's official: Amazon launches $9.99/month e-book subscription service, Kindle Unlimited - GeekWire

It’s official: Amazon launches Kindle Unlimited, $9.99/month e-book subscription service

After an inadvertent leak earlier in the week, Amazon today launched a new e-book subscription service, Kindle Unlimited, offering unlimited reading from a catalog of more than 600,000 books for $9.99/month. It’s a new wrinkle for the Kindle business, and the latest move by Amazon to shake up the traditional publishing industry. The books in the catalog include… Read More

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With difficult cutbacks, Satya Nadella starts to make his mark on Microsoft

When Satya Nadella was named Microsoft’s CEO earlier this year, one of the concerns among investors was that the company veteran would maintain the status quo, largely sticking to the gameplan laid out by his predecessor, Steve Ballmer. This morning Nadella made it clear that won’t be the case, cutting 18,000 jobs in the largest layoffs in Microsoft… Read More

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Microsoft cuts will also hit ‘shadow workforce,’ going beyond announced layoffs

Microsoft’s decision to cut 18,000 jobs from its workforce represents the largest round of layoffs in the company’s history, but it also understates the impact on the company and the job market. In addition to those core cuts, the company is aiming to significantly reduce its reliance on contingent workers — the thousands of vendors and contractors who… Read More

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. (Microsoft file photo)

Full text: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella explains big job cuts

Long-term progress will require short-term pain. That’s one of the underlying messages delivered by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella today as he outlined his plan to streamline Microsoft’s engineering as part of a larger set of 18,000 job cuts at the company. Here’s the full text of Nadella’s email to employees, made public by Microsoft. From: Satya… Read More

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Microsoft cutting 18,000 jobs, 14% of company, in largest layoffs in its history

Microsoft will cut 18,000 jobs over the next year, including 12,500 related to its acquisition of Nokia’s Devices and Services business, the company confirmed this morning. The overall figure represents about 14 percent of the 127,000 people employed by the company as of last month. It’s the largest job reduction in the company’s history — a major… Read More

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Major Microsoft job cuts expected on Thursday

Microsoft will announce layoffs on Thursday that “substantially exceed” the largest job cuts in the company’s history, according to a New York Times report this afternoon, citing unnamed people who have been briefed on the company’s plan. Clues cited by the newspaper include tell-tale conference room reservations by human resource managers, which is traditionally the… Read More

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Can a wristband prevent sexual assault? UW concept brings sensors to the party

You’re at a club, dancing to a great DJ, and suddenly your wristband vibrates, signaling that one of your friends hasn’t responded to her wristband’s attempt to make sure she’s still conscious and in control. So you search the club and find your friend, extracting her from a potentially dangerous situation. That’s one of the core features of Vive,… Read More

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GeekWire Summit sneak peek: Mossberg, Swisher, Walmart, Zulily and more

We’re excited to officially announce the third annual GeekWire Summit, and provide some early details about the content and speakers we’re lining up for this new installment of our signature tech conference, set for Oct. 2 in downtown Seattle. The GeekWire Summit, presented by title sponsor CenturyLink, brings together top CEOs, business leaders, developers, marketers and many others from the Pacific Northwest and around the country… Read More

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Cortana can turn off the lights: Insteon home automation app to integrate with Microsoft’s assistant

One of the features of Microsoft’s Cortana virtual assistant in Windows Phone 8.1 is the ability to integrate the technology into third-party apps, and the home automation company Insteon provided an early example this morning — saying that users of its Windows Phone app will be able to speak to Cortana to dim the lights and adjust the temperature,… Read More

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‘Sensor Salon’ brings LCD screens, 3D-printed objects and sensors to fingernails

The maker movement is coming to the nail salon. That’s the vision of students from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif., who presented their “Sensor Salon” project at Microsoft today — explaining how they created a prototype salon that brought together experts in design and development to create made-to-order technology for a client’s nails. Technologies… Read More

Box CEO Aaron Levie

Box rolls out unlimited storage for business customers, unveils new Microsoft Office integration

Declaring the “end of the storage wars,” cloud storage company Box this morning announced that it will start offering unlimited storage to customers on its $15/user/month business plan — expanding a feature that was previously available to those on its higher-priced enterprise plan. Box’s moves come amid heightened competition in online storage and collaboration, as evidenced… Read More

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Microsoft job cuts coming as soon as this week, could be biggest in company history, report says

Microsoft is poised to announce thousands of job cuts as soon as this week, and the cuts could end up being the largest in the company’s history — potentially exceeding the 5,800 employees laid off by the company at the height of the 2009 economic crisis, according to a report by Bloomberg News overnight, citing unidentified people familiar with… Read More

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Fiction meets fact: Author publishes ‘Drones over Seattle’ as Amazon seeks FAA clearance

Consultant and contract engineer Richard Clark published his new work of fiction, “Drones Over Seattle,” for the Amazon Kindle just last week — telling the story of a computer programmer and former Black Hat hacker named Sean who is hired by a Pioneer Square robotics startup to revamp and stabilize its high-tech flying drone. So imagine Clark’s surprise a… Read More

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AI breakthrough: Microsoft’s ‘Project Adam’ identifies dog breeds, points to future of machine learning

Microsoft Research has developed a new system for machine learning and artificial intelligence, called “Project Adam,” that advances the speed and efficiency of computers and their ability to learn.  Project Adam takes its cues from the human brain to absorb new data and teach itself new skills — such as distinguishing among different breeds of… Read More

Google Glass founder Babak Parviz (Photo by Loic Le Meur, via Flickr)

Amazon hires Google Glass founder to ‘work on a few other things’

Updated at 3:30 p.m. with Google’s statement below. Babak Parviz, who founded and led the Google Glass project, has left the search company’s Google X advanced research division for a new role at Amazon, he announced on his Google+ page this weekend — declaring himself “super excited” without revealing what he’ll be doing. He writes on his Google+ about… Read More

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GeekWire Radio: Our favorite apps to find a date, a car ride, a haircut, and make your tweets self-destruct

We’re back with another app-apolooza on this week’s GeekWire radio show — talking about our latest favorite apps with our special guest, Alex McConnehey, the founder of the See Jane Fix phone and tablet repair service. After getting tips from Alex on keeping our phones in working order, we dive into the apps — covering everything from ride-sharing apps… Read More

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Yahoo executive, a former Seattle startup CEO, sued for sexual harassment by employee

Former Seattle startup CEO Maria Zhang, who joined Yahoo as a senior mobile engineering director when it acquired her company, Alike, was sued for sexual harassment Friday by a female employee who worked for Zhang at Yahoo. Yahoo is denying the allegations and saying it intends to “fight vigorously” to clear Zhang’s name. Zhang was a GeekWire Geek of the… Read More

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Analyst predicts job cuts at Microsoft in range of 5-10%

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella hinted at the possibility of job cuts in his memo to employees Thursday, and one longtime analyst, Nomura’s Rick Sherlund, is now predicting that the company will reduce its headcount by something in the range of 5 percent to 10 percent. As outlined by Sherlund in a note to clients this morning,… Read More

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Meet the new Microsoft: Key takeaways from Satya’s big memo — and yes, job cuts are likely

In certain circles, Microsoft memos are the stuff of legend. The seminal “Internet Tidal Wave” memo of 1995. The major “Trustworthy Computing” memo of 2002. The landmark “Shrimp & Weenies” memo of 1993. Depending on how the next month goes, Satya Nadella’s “Bold Ambition & Our Core” memo of 2014 could claim its own place in Microsoft lore. In case you missed it, the Microsoft… Read More

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Fuze jolts the enterprise video collaboration market, led by former Yammer execs

When Groupon took stock of the video-conferencing and collaboration tools being used inside the company, executives were surprised to discover a critical mass of employees who had started using an application called Fuze on their own. Fuze offers fast setup of HD video-conferences across a variety of devices, with integrated cloud storage and quick content sharing, supporting up to 25 participants at a time for free,… Read More