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Ballmer on $2B Clippers purchase: ‘It’s not the craziest thing I’ve ever acquired’

Compared to past NBA deals, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s $2 billion purchase of the Los Angeles Clippers franchise — which became official today — is not only record-breaking, but also quite excessive. The previous NBA team to be sold was the Milwaukee Bucks, which went for $550 million in April. But Ballmer defended the price tag… Read More

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Dis-Kinected: Xbox unveils three big holiday bundles, none with motion controller

If it’s true that videogames drive sales of consoles, then Microsoft is leaning heavily on that strategy by unveiling three new bundles today at Gamescom in Germany. While the idea of bundles is not new, Microsoft said this year’s options are “unparalleled,” and Xbox Head Phil Spencer added that they are excited “to offer fans more choice than ever… Read More

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Microsoft virtual assistant Cortana reportedly coming to Windows with ‘Threshold’ release

Cortana, Microsoft’s virtual assistant, may soon extend her reach beyond Windows Phone to the PC. The assistant is appearing as an app inside the next version of Windows, code named “Threshold,” according to a report by Neowin. The virtual assistant appears as an app users can launch, and runs in a small window where users… Read More

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Microsoft researchers make long GoPro videos watchable with ‘Hyperlapse’ project

Action cameras like the GoPro have made it easy to capture first-person perspectives from daily adventures. But as Microsoft researcher Johannes Kopf discovered, that doesn’t always translate into watchable video. Kopf, who works in the Interactive Visual Media Group at Microsoft Research, wanted to show his friends and family what it was like to go mountain… Read More

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Former Microsoft manager sentenced to 2 years in prison for insider trading

Ex-Microsoft manager Brian Jorgenson was sentenced to two years in prison today after pleading guilty to charges of insider trading. The 32-year-old worked in Microsoft’s corporate finance and investment division and used confidential information to help a friend, Sean Stokke, make trades that earned the pair more than $400,000 in an 18-month period. The duo started making the… Read More

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Twitter quietly nixes Bing Translate feature

Twitter has quietly stopped offering users the ability to instantly translate tweets using Bing’s machine translation feature, slightly more than a year after the company started using Microsoft’s technology. Users began noticing the feature’s absence earlier this week, though Twitter hasn’t said exactly when it stopped offering the service, or why. But one thing is… 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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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

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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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NFL players, coaches now using Microsoft’s Surface tablet during games

This upcoming football season, NFL players and coaches have the option to use a new device that will help them make more efficient in-game improvements: The Surface Pro 2. Microsoft is equipping teams this fall with customized tablets — 13 for players on the sidelines and another 12 for offensive and defensive coordinators in the coaching boxes. The weather-proof… 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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Chinese protesters reportedly slam Microsoft over ‘hostile takeover and violent layoffs’

Microsoft is facing more pressure in China. Five days after a report surfaced that Chinese officials were investigating Microsoft’s offices in the country, protests reportedly have erupted in the country against Microsoft over layoffs associated with the acquisition of Nokia’s phone business. According to Reuters, hundreds of protesters held banners and shouted “Microsoft’s hostile takeover and… 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

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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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Sony crushes Microsoft in console sales during last 3 months

Sony is winning the console war. The gaming giant posted its quarterly earnings report today and noted 3.5 million Playstation consoles sold worldwide — that includes both the PS4 and PS3. During the same time period, Microsoft reported earlier this month that it sold 1.1 million Xbox consoles, which includes the Xbox One and Xbox… 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