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Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft’

Morning Media Newsfeed: Microsoft to Cut 18,000 Jobs | Aereo Faces Setback

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Microsoft to Lay Off 18,000 Workers, Largest Cuts in History (SocialTimes)
Over the next year, Microsoft is eliminating 18,000 jobs, or as much as 14 percent of its workforce. CEO Satya Nadella wrote a public email to company employees on Thursday saying “every team across Microsoft must find ways to simplify and move faster, more efficiently.” He said that he would give more details on Tuesday, when Microsoft reports its fiscal 2014 results. Deadline Hollywood The layoffs will hit hardest at the Nokia Devices and Services phone handset business, acquired in April. “We are moving now to start reducing the first 13,000 positions, and the vast majority of employees whose jobs will be eliminated will be notified over the next six months,” Nadella said in the email Thursday. Microsoft expects the restructuring to result in as much as $1.6 billion in pre-tax charges over the next four quarters. That will include as much as $800 million for severance and related benefit costs, and up to $800 million in asset-related charges. Variety Microsoft is also getting out of developing original series for its Xbox gaming platform and will close Xbox Entertainment Studios in the coming months. Xbox chief Phil Spencer announced Xbox Entertainment Studios will shutter and that some projects in development and production, including a live-action Halo series, will still be produced. New York Post / Reuters The studio, set up in 2012 under then-CEO Steve Ballmer, said in April it had committed to several projects including Humans, a drama co-produced with U.K. broadcaster Channel 4, and Halo. NYT While Microsoft still makes profits that executives at other companies would be ecstatic to have, it has been beaten on the biggest new trends in tech, including mobile, Internet search and cloud computing. As a result, it is regularly left out of conversations about companies defining the next generation of technology, outflanked and overshadowed by companies like Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon.

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GeekWire Shoots Down the Idea of ‘Microsoft Square Garden’

MSG-Network1The Bay Area correspondent for Seattle website GeekWire has spoken. After reading today’s TheStreet op ed by contributor Jonathan Yates, Blair Hanley Frank rifled off an angry response:

So wait, let me get this straight: buying Madison Square Garden, for whatever exorbitant sum that might cost, is a good idea because it keeps Microsoft from buying a tech company?

The way Yates sees it, Microsoft made a bad deal in 2007 [for aQuantitative], so it should spend money on a sports stadium. Really.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: ECJ Tackles Web Records | ABC Pitches Brands | FCC Faces Protests

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European Court Lets Users Erase Records on Web (NYT)
Europe’s highest court said on Tuesday that people had the right to influence what the world could learn about them through online searches, a ruling that rejected long-established notions about the free flow of information on the Internet. Poynter / MediaWire If results display pages that are “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes for which they were processed and in the light of the time that has elapsed,” the search engine operator must remove them, the court ruled, even if the “publication in itself on those pages is lawful.” BBC News The case was brought by a Spanish man who complained that an auction notice of his repossessed home on Google’s search results infringed his privacy. Google says it does not control data, it only offers links to information freely available on the Internet. It has previously said forcing it to remove data amounts to censorship. WSJ Some lawyers argue that the ruling will probably only be applied for searches done and displayed in Europe, and only for European data subjects, for instance, EU citizens or European residents. The court specifically said, however, that companies can’t get out of compliance simply by saying their servers are outside of Europe. The technology industry has rallied around freedom of speech, long a tenet of Western democracy but enshrined specifically in the U.S. Constitution as its First Amendment. Privacy-rights activists and many European officials have supported a competing notion: the “right to be forgotten.” Reuters The ruling creates technical challenges as well as potential extra costs for companies like Google, the world’s No. 1 search engine, and Facebook. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) said the rights of people whose privacy has been infringed outweighed the general public interest. Google said it was disappointed with the ruling, which contradicted a non-binding opinion from the ECJ’s court adviser last year that said deleting sensitive information from search results would interfere with freedom of expression.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Separatists in Ukraine Seize TV HQ | CNN Raises Ethical Questions | Gregory Slams Report

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Separatists Seize Control of TV HQ in East Ukraine City (Reuters)
Pro-Russian separatists on Sunday seized control of the offices of regional state television in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk and said they would take it off air and broadcast a Kremlin-backed Russian channel instead. Sky News Four men wearing masks and armed with truncheons were standing at the entrance to the building in Donetsk, while more separatists could be seen inside wearing camouflage fatigues. The regional governor’s office and the city hall in Donetsk have already been seized by separatists. NBC News About 15 police officers were standing a short distance away but were not trying to resist the separatists. A crowd of around 400 people surrounded the building and shouted “Russia!” and “Referendum!,” a reference to a vote the separatists want to hold on seceding from Ukraine. The protesters later drifted away, but the separatist guards on the doors remained. One of the masked men at the entrance, who asked why the building had been seized, said: “They show lies; they try to influence the people and they broadcast misinformation.” The Guardian The station’s shaken director, Oleg Dzholos, emerged soon afterward to say that the separatists had brought with them a technician who was turning off Kiev television and replacing it with Rossiya 24. The Russian state channel calls Ukraine’s pro-western leaders “fascists” and frequently runs montages of them with footage of the Nazis. “We hope to continue broadcasting,” Dzholos said. His staff of 250 would be back at work on Monday morning, he said. WSJ Sunday’s incident marked an escalation in the struggle between pro-Russian protesters who want to turn Ukraine’s industrial heartland into a sovereign republic and Kiev’s interim government, which has tried, without success, to defeat a separatist rebellion that threatens the unity of the country. Ukraine accuses Russia of stirring up the separatist unrest by broadcasting strident anti-Kiev views on Russian television channels and by sending covert operatives to help organize the insurgency, particularly in Slovyansk, a city north of Donetsk that has been taken over by heavily armed gunmen. Moscow denies any role.

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AOL and Microsoft Make Video Distribution Deal

AOL and Microsoft have struck a deal that will bring the former’s videos to the latter.

According to Recode, Microsoft will now be able to share any AOL video, including original programming — like what you see on HuffPost Live — and videos it distributes for companies like ESPN.

The AOL videos will be featured on MSN.com and Windows and Windows Phone Bing apps.

Microsoft will handle ad sales for the videos, with both companies sharing the ad revenue.

Morning Media Newsfeed: Netflix to Up Prices | NBC Evaluates Gregory | Slate Plus Launches

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Netflix Plans Price Raise as Streaming Subscribers Grow (Reuters)
Video streaming service Netflix Inc. said it intends to raise its subscription price for new customers by $1 or $2 a month to help the company buy more movies and TV shows and improve service for its 48 million global subscribers. WSJ Netflix said the price increase for the $7.99 a month service, the first since 2011, would help pay for its continued investment in original programs, including series such as House of Cards and Orange Is The New Black. Netflix has committed to spend billions of dollars in programming in the past few years as it has grown to become the biggest stand-alone subscription programming service in the U.S., passing some long-standing traditional TV outlets like HBO in terms of subscribers. Mashable Current subscribers would stay at the $7.99 price for a “generous time period,” the company wrote in a statement to investors. “Our current view is to do a one or two dollar increase, depending on the country, later this quarter for new members only,” the company wrote. The news came as Netflix announced that it added 4 million new members in the first quarter of 2014, as the company beat revenue and profit expectations. Variety In after-hours trading Monday, Netflix’s stock climbed as much as 7 percent to $372.05 per share, after closing up 0.8 percent for the day at $348.49. Netflix also said that in the second quarter of 2014, it will launch the first pay-TV integration of its service in the U.S. That’s after lining up deals with European providers including the U.K.’s Virgin Media to provide access to the unlimited streaming-video service through operator-supplied boxes. Deadline New York The company generated $53.1 million in net income in the first quarter of 2014, up from $2.7 million in the same period in 2013, on revenues of $1.27 billion, up 24 percent.

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AOL Sells Microsoft Patents for $1 Billion in Cash

Now this is how you start a week: Aol is selling 800 patents to Microsoft for $1.056 billion in straight cash, homey. Aol is keeping over 300 patents related to advertising, search, content management and more. As part of the deal, Microsoft has a non-exclusive license to those retained patents.

Aol is returning a “significant portion of the sale proceeds” to its shareholders and as of right now, stock is up 42 percent. Quite a nice Monday for Aol.

Microsoft Finds A Chink in Google’s Armor Named News Corp.

bing.jpg Two weeks ago, Rupert Murdoch announced that he would be taking content from his News Corp entities like The Wall Street Journal and The New York Post off of Google’s search engines, ostensibly because the man doesn’t know jack about the Internet and can’t tell the difference between a search engine and an aggregator.

But as last night’s news broke that Microsoft, which just launched its own search engine Bing to compete with Google, is in talks with the Australian mogul in the hopes of paying him to remove his listings from its rival, we have to amend our previous statement. Crazy? Yes. Crazy like a fox.

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Battle of the Twitter Titans? Microsoft and Google Both Express Interest

bktwwtfg.jpgRegardless of the fact Twitter makes no money, and thus far no one has figured out a way to make money from the microblogging service that has saturated the media landscape in the past few months, everyone wants a piece (including Facebook, who recently based their enormously unpopular redesign on Twittery features).

Rumors have been circulating for the last few weeks that Google has been making moves to purchase the site. Now AllThingsD is reporting that Microsoft and Google are both in talks with the company.

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Microsoft Finally Fixing Zune

zune_logo.jpgAt long last, Microsoft will update its Zune players. The company’s answer to the iPod, um, wasn’t — 3.2 million Zunes have been sold in comparison to 200 million of the Apple device — but the computer giant won’t give it up.

Brian Seitz
, Microsoft’s marketing manager, announced the news on his Twitter account. Of course he did.

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