Advertising

The Seattle Times Company

NWjobs | NWautos | NWhomes | NWsource | Free Classifieds | seattletimes.com

Business / Technology


Our network sites seattletimes.com | Advanced

Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times reporter Sharon Chan.

E-mail Sharon| RSS feeds Subscribe | Blog Home| Brier Dudley's Blog

August 28, 2008 10:04 AM

What words would you add to the Microsoft spell-checker?

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano


ELLEN M. BANNER / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Mike Calcagno, general manager with the Natural Language Group for Office at Microsoft, and members of his team identify and vet new words to add to the spell checkers that ship with Office in many different languages.

After today's story on the team at Microsoft that makes the spell-checker, people wrote in to share the words they wish it would include and their favorite spell-checker corrections.


A friend who works in the sciences said it's difficult to trust the spell-checker in her field. "You think Bromodichloromethane or 4-Methyl-2-Pentanone are in there? Or whenever we use borehole the suggested correction is brothel..."

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Microsoft , Miscellaneous , Office |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

August 27, 2008 12:00 PM

Microsoft releases beta 2 of IE8; more from Firefox maker Mozilla

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Read my story about Microsoft releasing a second test version of its next Web browser, Internet Explorer 8, here. Get it and try it yourself here.

For some added perspective, I talked with Mike Shaver, a founding member of Mozilla, maker of Firefox. He's currently interim vice president of engineering. Rather than gloating about the success of the browser and the 15-plus points of market share Firefox has taken from IE in the last four years, he was glad to see Microsoft speeding up improvements to its own browser:

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Firefox , Internet Explorer , Security & privacy , Web browsers |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

August 27, 2008 7:09 AM

Microsoft helps gamers register to vote, express political preference on Xbox Live

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano


Add civic engagement to the ever-growing list of video, gaming and communication offerings on Microsoft's Xbox Live network. As the Democratic National Convention continues this week, the company is ramping up a partnership with Rock the Vote that gives Xbox Live members information about the presidential candidates and help registering to vote.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Online services , Public policy & issues , Xbox 360 |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

August 26, 2008 4:44 PM

Rounding up rumors of new 'Halo' titles

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Video-game news site Joystiq reported yesterday that the October issue of the Official Xbox Magazine (which is "official" in the sense that it has a licensing agreement with the company, not in that it speaks for the company) will carry an item suggesting a game studio other than Kirkland-based Bungie is at work on a fourth installment in the blockbuster "Halo" series for the next-generation Xbox, i.e., whatever follows the 360.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Games & entertainment , Xbox 360 |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

August 26, 2008 12:30 PM

Microsoft was top online display advertiser in June

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Microsoft was pushing its Live Search service, including its cashback program, in June, propelling the company to the top of the list of most active online advertisers, according to comScore.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Advertising , Branding , Search |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

August 26, 2008 7:00 AM

More detail on Microsoft environmentally sustainable food service, Certified Green Restaurants

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano


ELLEN M. BANNER/THE SEATTLE TIMES

Composting at Microsoft.

In addition to the compostable utensils, expanded recycling and composting outlined in today's story, Microsoft is pushing ahead with more changes to its food-service practices in 2009.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Real estate and facilities |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

August 22, 2008 10:12 AM

Photosynth users uploaded 286,689 images in first 24 hours

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

The Microsoft Photosynth team recapped its hectic first-day in the wild, marked by a huge wave of interest that overwhelmed the service and temporarily knocked it down. They were back up and running by late Thursday.

Here are some usage stats from the first 24 hours, posted early this morning:

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Graphics and imaging , Photosynth |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

August 21, 2008 1:23 PM

Microsoft gave back modest Internet search gain in July

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

After seeing its U.S. Internet search market share increase slightly in June -- for the first time in 2008 -- Microsoft gave back some of the gains in July, according to figures from market research comScore.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Search |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

August 21, 2008 10:36 AM

Photosynth "a little overwhelmed;" uploading suspended after big launch

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

The guys at Photosynth seemed to be anticipating huge demand and interest in their new product, but it looks like they underestimated. I just visited www.photosynth.com after seeing that the synth of Stonehenge we'd embedded on our site wasn't working. Photosynth appears to be in reduced functionality mode, according to this note on the site:

"Please stand by...The Photosynth site is a little overwhelmed just now. While we're reviving it, please enjoy this beautiful synth. Refresh the page to explore a different one."

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Graphics and imaging |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

August 21, 2008 9:45 AM

WSJ: Microsoft using Seinfeld as Vista pitchman in $300 million ad campaign

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld will headline Microsoft's upcoming $300 million Windows Vista ad campaign, along with Chairman Bill Gates, according to anonymous sources quoted in The Wall Street Journal.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Advertising , Windows Vista |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

August 20, 2008 9:01 PM

Microsoft releases version of Photosynth you can use

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

"You hope a computer could do something that's sort of magic and it so rarely ever happens. Photosynth is one of the cases where when you see this for the first time, and even after you've seen 100 synths, it's still magic."

That was David Gedye, group manager of Microsoft's Photosynth, talking about his team's enthusiasm as they prepared to launch a version of the software that consumers could use. I couldn't find a place for it in my story in Thursday's paper, but, even though it's a bit hyperbolic, I wanted to post it here, because, frankly, I agree.

Here's a "synth" National Geographic did on Stonehenge. You'll need to download the Photosynth software (8 megabytes) and be running Windows Vista or XP to view it.

And here's an excerpt from my story in Thursday's paper on Photosynth:

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Graphics and imaging , Natural user interface |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

August 18, 2008 9:01 PM

Four Microsofties make Technology Review's list of 35 under 35

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

MIT's Technology Review, the world's oldest tech magazine, has named four Microsoft employees to its "annual list of 35 outstanding men and women under the age of 35 who exemplify the spirit of innovation in business and technology." Only Harvard and its affiliates had more people on the TR35.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Microsoft , Natural user interface , Personalities , Recruiting , Research |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

August 15, 2008 10:26 AM

Video: UW-Microsoft Photosynth team back at it with new mind-blowing demo

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

When I saw Photosynth for the first time about two years ago, it joined a small handful of new products that really captured my attention. The software arranges sets of photos in 3-D context and allows viewers to navigate fluidly from image to image, moving their gaze from a building's facade to a detail shot of a specific fresco, for example.

Photosynth is a distinctly Seattle invention. It emerged from a collaboration of University of Washington graduate student Noah Snavely and computer-science professor Steven Seitz, with Microsoft researcher Richard Szeliski, as well as a Ballard startup Microsoft acquired. Now at least part of that team is at it again.

In a paper presented at this week's SIGGRAPH (a meeting of the world's top computer graphics researchers), the UW/Microsoft team described the next iteration of their work, soberly named "Finding Paths through the World's Photos." Here's the video:

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Graphics and imaging , Natural user interface , Video |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

August 14, 2008 3:55 PM

Yahoo picks local wireless veteran John Chapple, Frank Biondi Jr. for board

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano


KEN LAMBERT/THE SEATTLE TIMES

Chapple in 2005.

Yahoo tapped local wireless industry mover John Chapple to fill one of two new seats on its board of directors, culminating a deal the Internet company negotiated with Carl Icahn to avoid a proxy fight. The second new board seat goes to Frank Biondi Jr., a media mogul.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Yahoo , Yahoo acquisition |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

August 14, 2008 3:36 PM

Nintendo continues to widen console sales lead in July

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Nintendo sold 555,000 Wii game consoles in July, according to U.S. market data just released by The NPD Group. The brought its total installed base in the U.S. to 11.4 million, more than 720,000 units ahead of Microsoft's Xbox 360, which sold the fewest units in July of the three current-generation consoles.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Games & entertainment |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

August 14, 2008 2:06 PM

Latest versions of Office spell checker recognizes 'Obama,' doesn't change to 'Osama'

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

New York Times technology writer David Pogue published a reader question in his blog and weekly e-mail today:

"Q: David: I've noticed this for a year, and have not been able to get Microsoft to change it: Type 'Obama' or 'obama' in Microsoft Word or Outlook, and the spelling checker recommends 'Osama' as the corrected spelling. How could this continue month after month, especially now that Mr. Obama is likely to be the Democratic candidate for president? Hope you can connect with appropriate folks at Microsoft and get this changed."

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Miscellaneous , Office |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

August 13, 2008 11:19 AM

Microsoft acquisition target DATAllegro sued for patent infringement

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

A former co-worker of the CEO and founder of DATAllegro -- a high-end data warehousing company Microsoft is acquiring -- is suing the company for patent infringement.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Legal issues , Server and tools |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

August 13, 2008 5:08 AM

Microsoft's Surface plans include third-party application developers

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Workers were set to install three Microsoft Surface tabletop computers at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel early this morning. My story in today's paper touches on the Seattle commercial debut of the Surface, but also details the internal deployment of the devices on Microsoft's campus going on since January.

The company is now setting its sights on third-party application developers, with a boost from the internal developers who got their hands on the Surface in the past half year, said Matt Champagne, director of Surface product management.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Devices , Hardware |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

August 12, 2008 9:03 AM

Microsoft Surface to make Seattle commercial debut in Sheraton Hotel

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Microsoft's much-discussed and demonstrated touch-sensing, tabletop computer will finally make a commercial appearance in Seattle tomorrow. Sheraton Hotels and Resorts -- one of the original customers for the Microsoft Surface -- plans to roll out the devices in several hotels, including the Sheraton Seattle Hotel, 1400 6th Ave.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Devices , Natural user interface |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

August 11, 2008 11:54 AM

Who is playing video games?

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Twenty-two percent of people who play video games fall into the "young heavy gamer" segment, according to just-released research from The NPD Group. That's apparently a reference to their usage, not their BMI.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Games & entertainment |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

August 6, 2008 1:06 PM

Some can't get access to live Olympic video, replays on NBCOlympics.com

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano


MICROSOFT

Not everyone can get all live video and replays NBC is putting online from the Olympics.

I wrote today about NBC's unprecedented online video presentation of the Olympics and its partnership with Microsoft. But it turns out not everyone gets to see the best features of the service, including live video, long-form event replays and NBC encore video.

People who don't have a television, tune in an over-the-air broadcast or subscribe to a cable provider that's not one of NBC's "distribution partners" are left out in the cold. NBC said this is a small slice of the U.S. audience, less than 10 percent by its own reckoning.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Games & entertainment , Video |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

August 6, 2008 9:29 AM

'Significant' data and storage announcement; buyback talk; Yahoo recount

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Microsoft veep Ted Kummert will make a "significant" announcement relating to the company's Data Platform and Storage Division at 10 a.m., a spokesman said. We'll be covering the teleconference. (Update, 10:02 a.m.: The "significant" news is that Microsoft has released SQL Server 2008, its database and business intelligence server software.)

Meanwhile, Bloomberg is quoting top-rated software analyst Heather Bellini, who thinks Microsoft will rev up its share buyback engine in the coming months.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Corporate governance , Financial |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

August 5, 2008 9:40 AM

Microsoft rolling out new tools for computer security pros

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

At a major computer security conference in Las Vegas today, Microsoft is announcing new efforts to characterize computer security threats.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Security & privacy |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

August 4, 2008 10:43 AM

Windows Live marketing site gets new look, user-generated content

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Following last week's makeover of the Live Search start page, Microsoft today touted a new design and strategy for WindowsLive.com, which touts many of the company's consumer-facing online services such as e-mail and Web storage.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Online Communities , Online services , Windows Live |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

August 1, 2008 2:09 PM

Yahoo directors re-elected, but shareholders show displeasure

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

After its shareholder meeting today, Yahoo released results of voting for its board of directors. All the director candidates were running unopposed, but the number of votes withheld was viewed as a measure of shareholders' displeasure.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Yahoo , Yahoo acquisition |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

August 1, 2008 1:13 PM

Microsoft news roundup

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Comments | Category: Devices , Windows Vista , Wireless & telecom |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

August 1, 2008 12:06 PM

Yawn-hoo: Few fireworks at Yahoo shareholder meeting

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

The Yahoo shareholders who spoke at the company's meeting in San Jose today were not particularly interested in raking the company's board of directors over the coals for its handling of Microsoft's acquisition offer. In fact, several who spoke praised the board and were glad that it held off Microsoft. In the quote of the day, one man, who said he owns 1,200 shares, along with his wife, described Microsoft as "a corporation-destroying, over-the-hill, green tentacled octopus from Redmond." Zing.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Yahoo , Yahoo acquisition |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

Advertising

Marketplace

Advertising

Advertising

Categories
Calendar

May

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31            
Browse the archives

May 2009

April 2009

March 2009

February 2009

January 2009

December 2008

From the tech blogosphere