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Office for iPad gets PivotTables, presenter view and more with new update

Microsoft’s Office for iPad suite received a massive update today, and gained a bunch of capabilities that users have been requesting. The refresh includes a number of suite-wide capabilities, including the ability to export a file to PDF for easier sharing outside of the Office ecosystem. The update also adds support for third-party fonts users can… Read More

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Wireless pioneer John Stanton named to Microsoft board in latest bid by software giant to gain ground in mobile

John Stanton helped transform the mobile industry over the past three decades, serving in executive roles at McCaw Celluar; Western Wireless and VoiceStream Wireless. He’s also the former chairman of Bellevue-based Clearwire. Now the mobile phone pioneer is going to help guide Microsoft as it embarks on a challenging course of catching up to Apple… Read More

Robert Scoble signs copies of his book, Age of Context, at an event Tuesday evening in Seattle.

Microsoft should dump Windows Phone, says former Windows evangelist Robert Scoble

You probably know tech pundit Robert Scoble from his experiences as an early adopter of Google Glass. But long before he showered with the high-tech specs, the 49-year-old spent three years as Microsoft’s technology evangelist for Windows. It’s been nearly a decade since he’s worked in Redmond, but Scoble has some simple business advice for his former… Read More

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Microsoft to sell Xbox One in China on September 23 for $600

Microsoft today announced that it will begin selling the Xbox One in China on Sept. 23, giving the company access to a massive gaming market. In partnership with BesTV New Media Co., which will help manufacture the Xbox One in Shanghai’s Free Trade Zone, Microsoft will sell the console for 3,699 yuan (about $600) without the Kinect… 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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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

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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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First look at ‘Atari: Game Over,’ a Microsoft-funded documentary about the worst video game of all time

At San Diego Comic-Con, Microsoft released the first trailer for “Atari: Game Over,” a documentary about the rise and fall of Atari, and the renowned gaming company’s utter failure to make a commercial success out of its game version of “E.T.” It’s the first episode in “Signal to Noise,” a series of documentaries for its… Read More

Skykick co-founders Evan Richman and Todd Schwartz.

Office 365 migration service SkyKick raises $3 million

SkyKick, a Seattle-based startup that helps IT partners move businesses to Office 365, has raised an additional $3 million in capital to help fuel growth abroad. The 40-person company raised the fresh cash from a group of private equity investors, including Tim Ferriss and Navin Thukkaram. SkyKick is formerly known as CloudVisors, which launched in April 2011. It charges… Read More

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As tensions rise, China investigates Microsoft offices

Chinese officials reportedly visited Microsoft offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu, though no immediate reason was given for the investigations, according to Reuters. The visits by China’s State Administration for Industry & Commerce come at a time when tensions have risen between technology giants and China, sparked in part be revelations of  U.S. National Security Agency contractor… Read More

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New Microsoft ad touts Cortana, slams Apple’s Siri

Siri vs. Cortana might just be an updated version of the PC vs. Mac showdown. Microsoft just debuted a new video ad touting Cortana, its virtual assistant found on Windows Phone. The 30-second spot features Cortana accomplishing tasks like scheduling reminders and providing traffic alerts. Meanwhile, Apple’s digital assistant cannot understand the human commands. “Now that is a smart phone,” Siri… 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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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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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

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Q&A: Nokia HERE targets iOS and Android, expanding its role as the ‘location cloud’

The launch of Amazon’s Fire phone today marks an important step for Nokia’s HERE location-technology business, which is supplying the underlying mapping platform used by the new smartphone. But it’s just part of a broader expansion strategy for the Nokia-owned company — including the planned release of new consumer services for iOS and Android later this year. That’s one of the… Read More

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Uber app arrives on Microsoft’s Windows Phone

Uber, the popular on-demand ride service, launched its first native Windows Phone app today, filling a notable gap in Microsoft’s mobile marketplace. The app, available here, works in the same way as Uber’s existing apps for iPhone and Android, letting users request, track and pay for a ride via the app. Previously, Windows Phone users needed… Read More