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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Xbox One sales double, one month after $100 price cut

Offering up a cheaper Xbox One is helping Microsoft sell quite a bit more consoles. The company announced today that since it began selling a $399 version of the Xbox One without the Kinect sensor on June 9 — a $100 price cut from the Xbox One with Kinect — sales doubled in one month. We’ll have more… 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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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

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Cisco agrees to deeper integration with Microsoft on cloud and datacenter products

Cisco announced a multi-year sales agreement with Microsoft at the Redmond-based company’s World Partner Conference today. The two companies will work together on selling cloud and datacenter services, and have agreed to deepen integration between some of their key products. In particular, the two companies will be working to integrate a number of products including… 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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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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‘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

LiveLabels CEO Tom Lindeman.

Startup Spotlight: Microsoft vet helps marijuana users figure out what they’re smoking with LiveLabels

Now that anyone 21 years old and up can legally walk into a store and purchase marijuana in Washington, you can certainly expect an influx of people wanting to get high. But one problem for those relatively new to marijuana is figuring out how different strains affect the body. Will that OG Kush give you more energy? Does the Lemon… 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

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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

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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