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Microsoft lobbies vacationing D.C. decision-makers with full-page ads in Martha’s Vineyard and Outer Banks newspapers

It’s the build-up to the long Labor Day weekend, so how can someone reach key decision-makers from Washington, D.C.? Take out ads in local newspapers in some of the most popular East Coast vacation destinations, apparently. That’s exactly what Microsoft is doing to bring attention to its Digital Constitution campaign, its challenge to the U.S. government’s attempt to obtain customer email… Read More

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Microsoft to sell standalone Xbox One Kinect sensor for $150 this October

Four months after it began selling the Xbox One without a Kinect sensor in June, Microsoft will now offer up a way for customers to purchase the motion-tracking device separately. The company announced today that a standalone Kinect will be available starting Oct. 7 for $149.99 — that’s $50 cheaper than the Kinect for Windows. The Kinect for Xbox… Read More

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announces the Fire smartphone.

Amazon vs. Google: Twitch deal highlights growing war between tech giants

Now that the initial shock from Amazon’s purchase of Twitch is starting to wear off, the synergies between the two companies are becoming more obvious. Over the past three years, Twitch has become the ESPN of the video game industry, where viewers go to watch live footage of videogames. The company’s streaming technology could strengthen a number of… Read More

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Google goes after Office for iPad again with new Slides app

Google has once again fired a shot across Microsoft’s bow with a new iPhone and iPad app for its Slides presentation-making software. The app allows people to create, access and share presentations stored in their Google Drive account from their iOS devices, similar to PowerPoint or Apple’s Keynote software. Slides will join Google’s standalone mobile apps… Read More

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Huawei hangs up on Windows Phone development after two years of losses

Chinese smartphone-maker Huawei Technologies is putting Windows Phones development on hold after enduring two years of losses, according to an executive who was interviewed by The Wall Street Journal. “We have tried using the Windows Phone OS,” said Huawei’s Richard Yu, the head of Huawei’s consumer business group. “But it has been difficult to persuade consumers to buy… Read More

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Microsoft plans video streaming device, rivaling Chromecast, filings suggest

Microsoft is preparing to launch its own video streaming device, based on the Miracast screencasting standard, according to filings with the FCC and WiFi Alliance, unearthed this week by Windows Phone Daily and Nokia Power User. The filings suggest that Microsoft is developing a dongle, dubbed the HD-10, similar to Google’s Chromecast device, with HDMI, WiFi and… Read More

Microsoft Chairman John Thompson, foreground, with other members of the board at the 2013 Microsoft annual meeting. (GeekWire File Photo)

Microsoft’s board: New blood could mean new approach

Steve Ballmer’s resignation from the Microsoft board this week is the latest change for a group that has experienced a major shakeup over the past year — including a new chairman in John Thompson; a new CEO in Satya Nadalla; the addition of an activist shareholder in ValueAct’s Mason Morfit; and the appointment of a wireless veteran,… Read More

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Here comes Windows 9: Microsoft reportedly sets unveiling for next month, in advance of 2015 release

Microsoft is gearing up to reveal its latest major update to Windows, codenamed “Threshold” at a press event tentatively set for late September, according to a report by the Verge. The update is slated to contain a return to a desktop Start menu that will look and feel more familiar to people who are used to Microsoft’s older operating… Read More

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Xamarin raises $54M in funding to bring Microsoft’s programming language to other platforms

Xamarin, the San Francisco-based company that allows developers to code applications for a variety of different platforms using Microsoft’s C# programming language, announced today that it has raised a $54 million Series C round of financing. The round was led by a number of firms, including Ignition Partners, Lead Edge Capital, Insight Venture Partners, Floodgate… Read More

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Microsoft relaunches OneNote for Android, with tablet and handwriting support

Android tablet users now have a better note-taking app from Microsoft. The company announced today that it’s launching a new version of OneNote for phones and tablets running on Google’s operating system, just in time for back-to-school season. The app, which is available for free, offers popular OneNote features including support for handwriting and a new tablet… Read More

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Change Internet Explorer’s name? Nah, here’s what Microsoft really needs to do with its web browser

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer web browser has made great strides in recent years, embracing web standards and upgrading its user interface, as the company retires old versions of the browser and lobbies users to use the latest versions. But given its history with users and web developers, can the Internet Explorer name be salvaged? That was one question posed to the Internet… Read More

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First Reddit app built for a console arrives on Xbox One

Microsoft announced this evening that a new app called ReddX will debut on Tuesday morning, giving Xbox One owners a way to scan Reddit threads on their TVs. ReddX lets Xbox Live members in North America read text on Reddit, post links, up/down vote content, in addition to viewing images, videos, and GIFs. The app can also enter “Snap… Read More

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Microsoft Azure hit by “service interruption” affecting virtual machines, websites and more

Companies who rely on Microsoft Azure to power their online services are having a rough afternoon. A number of the services provided by Microsoft’s cloud platform are currently down in regions around the world. Users of the Virtual Machine, Cloud Services and Website products provided by Azure are the hardest hit by the outage, which… Read More

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Let’s say you’ve got $100 to invest: AMZN or MSFT?

This past week, I had the pleasure of moderating a panel at the big Rotary Club of Seattle, talking about the Pacific Northwest tech economy with a group of leading investors and entrepreneurs. We talked about a wide range of issues — hiring, education, the tech investment climate, key startups to watch, and the direction of… Read More

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PlayStation 4 outsells Xbox One in the U.S. for 7th month in a row

Another month, another win for Sony. The PS4 was the best-selling console in the U.S. for July, marking the seventh consecutive month that Sony’s device has outsold Microsoft’s Xbox One. Sony noted earlier this week that nine months since debuting its PlayStation 4 console on Nov. 15, it has sold 10 million units to consumers worldwide. The company said… Read More

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Meet the 10 startups in Microsoft’s new Internet of Things and home automation accelerator

In June, Microsoft announced a new startup accelerator focused on companies building gadgets, devices and software for the connected home and Internet of Things. Now, we’re getting a closer look at the 10 companies Microsoft has picked to participate in the program, which begins this fall in Redmond. “We share the belief that over time… Read More