Satya Nadella

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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Amazon employees most attractive, Apple workers just average, dating app finds

The top five tech companies typically fight over who employs the biggest brains, but in this competition, they were ranked by another more superficial factor: beauty. In a peer review on Hinge, a dating app that seeks to match up young professionals, Amazon employees were found to be the most sought-after, followed by Microsoft, Google and Facebook. In dead last was Apple. As… 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

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‘Dragons Adventure’ game for Windows blends real world and fantasy maps, for kids to play in moving car

Playing a game on a phone or tablet on the couch is one thing, but a new game for Windows Phone and Windows tablets shows what can happen when a moving vehicle and real-world location are part of the mix. The game, “Dragons Adventure: World Explorer,” is based on the “How to Train Your Dragon?” series, published by DreamWorks in partnership… Read More

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Microsoft Bing beats Google in World Cup predictions

Microsoft Bing’s prediction technology was perfect in the World Cup knockout stage — depending on how you look at it. Bing was 15 for 15 in picking the winners of each knockout match, including Germany’s 1-0 win over Argentina in today’s final. But Microsoft incorrectly predicted that Brazil would beat the Netherlands in Saturday’s rather… Read More

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How Skype saved the day for new ‘Planet of the Apes’

There’s telecommuting, and then there’s telecommuting. Matt Reeves, the director of “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” had a problem. The final shot for his $150 million movie wasn’t working, and he needed a new one, stat. The team at Weta Workshop, which did the animation for all the film’s apes, said that he needed a… 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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Microsoft’s Nadella defends Xbox business, says console is key part of the family

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella this morning responded to critics of the company’s Xbox business, defending its significance and making it clear that Microsoft won’t be spinning off its console anytime soon. The statements came as part of a larger strategy memo from Nadella to Microsoft employees, released this morning at the outset of the company’s new fiscal year. Here’s… Read More

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. (Microsoft file photo)

Microsoft will streamline engineering, make faster decisions, vows CEO Satya Nadella in new memo

Microsoft has a tradition of using massive strategy memos to set a new course or clarify the company’s direction, and CEO Satya Nadella continued the practice this morning with a 3,200-word missive to the company’s entire workforce. The memo lays out the company’s vision for a “mobile-first and cloud-first world,” using data and cloud computing to… Read More

Photo via Microsoft.

Ready for takeoff: Microsoft’s iconic Flight Simulator revived, coming to Steam

Microsoft Flight Simulator is making a comeback — but Microsoft won’t be doing any of the work to make it happen. Dovetail Games, makers of the Train Simulator franchise, has signed a global licensing deal with Microsoft for Flight Simulator and plans on releasing a new game in 2015 based on Microsoft’s popular flight sim. In addition, UK-based… Read More

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Microsoft Bing’s prediction technology is 13-0 in the World Cup knockout round

Microsoft Bing’s prediction engine was not impressive in the World Cup group stage, correctly picking 60 percent of the winning teams that advanced. But its performance in the knockout round has been perfect — literally. Bing is 13-0 thus far in the elimination stage of the World Cup, most recently predicting a Germany win over Brazil (The Germans ended… Read More

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Could Android apps be the key to growing Windows Phone?

One of the major problems facing Windows Phone is the relative immaturity of its app ecosystem. Microsoft has worked hard to encourage developers to work with the platform, but many aren’t releasing top apps for Windows Phone at the same time they’re launching apps and features for Android and iOS. To combat that, Microsoft may allow Windows… Read More

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Nokia’s Lumia 930 goes on sale this week, except in U.S.

International customers interested in picking up the next flagship Windows Phone will get their chance soon, starting this week. Microsoft announced today that the Nokia Lumia 930 will be available in Europe, Asia and the Middle East this week, with more locales added “in the coming weeks.” The phone, which was first unveiled at Microsoft’s… Read More

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End of the road: Microsoft to discontinue MapPoint and Streets & Trips

Businesses and individuals still using Microsoft’s MapPoint and Streets & Trips need to start thinking about alternatives. Microsoft is discontinuing both products, according to notices posted on their sites. The company says it will stop selling MapPoint and Streets & Trips 2013 at the end of this year, and Microsoft will offer online support to users of the latest edition… Read More

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New stats: Microsoft’s fastest-growing OS is … not Windows 8

Microsoft’s Windows 7 continued its rebound in June, climbing to 50.55 percent of worldwide desktop operating system usage. And despite its retirement, Windows XP saw a small increase in market share during the month, clawing back up to 25.31 percent of worldwide usage, according to the latest desktop operating system stats from NetMarketShare. Windows 8.1 also saw… Read More

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A cross-platform wearable? Microsoft might be on to something here

The persistent rumors about Microsoft releasing a smartwatch or fitness band raise natural questions about the company’s chances for success with another “me, too” product. But a new report puts a different spin on things — pointing to plans by Microsoft to make its wearable device work not just with Windows Phone but with iPhone and Android,… Read More

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Office for Android is coming, but timing of touch-based Windows version still unclear

Microsoft has seeking people to beta test versions of Office for Android, a clear sign that the company is moving towards a full consumer release of its popular software suite on Google’s mobile operating system. The company will be launching open sign-ups for people interested in beta testing the new software, according to a report by The… Read More

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Microsoft acquires SyntaxTree, boosting support for Unity game engine

Microsoft has acquired SyntaxTree, the developer of the UnityVS plugin for Visual Studio. The UnityVS tool allows game creators to use Microsoft’s development environment to write, browse and debug code for their games that are powered by Unity, a popular, cross-platform game engine that is used worldwide. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Unity… Read More

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Microsoft joins Qualcomm’s effort to set standards for ‘Internet of Things’

Microsoft announced today that it is joining the AllSeen Alliance, a Qualcomm-led effort to establish standards for devices that fit into the “Internet of Things” category. The organization, which already includes companies like LG, Cisco, and Panasonic, is working on an open source “Internet of Things” framework based on AllJoyn to allow devices to connect and talk… Read More

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Microsoft and Canon reach broad patent agreement

Microsoft and Canon announced a wide-ranging patent agreement this morning, with each company receiving a broad license to the other’s patent portfolio as part of the deal. The companies declined to detail the specific technologies involved, but Canon’s involvement in areas including imaging, printing, cameras, semiconductors and video equipment could provide extra protection for Microsoft as it… Read More

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Microsoft won’t be ending its security emails after all

Microsoft will not be shutting off its security notification mailing list for systems administrators and other security professionals today, despite informing them late last week that the service would be coming to an end. A Microsoft spokesperson told GeekWire that the company had “reviewed its policies” and chose to continue the email service. It’s an important… Read More