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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.

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April 1, 2009 6:01 AM

Microsoft targets very small businesses with new server

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Microsoft is introducing a new low-price, entry-level server for small businesses with fewer than 15 employees as a way to introduce them to the company's broader server software line and address falling server hardware prices.

"If somebody can buy a $500 server, they're a little loathe to spend $500 for the server operating system that goes with it," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said last month, explaining the new version of Windows Server to financial analysts.

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Comments | Category: Server and tools , Small business |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

February 24, 2009 6:15 AM

Microsoft Strategic Update: Ballmer tells Wall Street more dramatic cost cutting would be 'imprudent'

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

With Microsoft's Redmond campus largely emptied out for the winter holidays, CEO Steve Ballmer crunched the numbers on the proper level of spending for his company against the current economic climate, which he has repeatedly referred to as a "reset" rather than just a recession. Ballmer said his own estimates for the weakness and duration of the downturn tend to be more severe than those of other business leaders he meets.

With that in mind, he settled on $27.5 billion of operating expenses -- a level the company aims to hold relatively steady through the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, and during its 2010 fiscal year. Ballmer made clear to financial analysts meeting in New York this morning for the company's annual strategic update that cutting back even more significantly -- say to $20 billion -- would be "imprudent."

"I think this is right," Ballmer said.

That should give some comfort to those wondering if the modest layoffs Microsoft announced last month were the beginning of a more significant reduction. Wall Street analysts and investors are pressuring companies in every industry to continue cutting costs as sales and profits slow dramatically.

The strategic update call just came to an end. Ballmer gave a detailed look at seven major business areas for the company. Check back here later this morning for more details.

Update, 7:50 a.m.: As he told Congressional Democrats earlier this month, Ballmer said Microsoft's corporate strategists have been evaluating past downturns -- particularly those driven by "deleveraging." The team read company annual reports from 1927 to 1938 to determine who did a good job managing through the Great Depression. "RCA, God rest them in peace, became our role model," Ballmer said. The company was able to dominate the television business because it continued to invest during bad times, he said.

Then he broke down how Microsoft plans to invest.

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Comments | Category: Advertising , Apple , Enterprise , Financial , Games & entertainment , Google , Microsoft layoffs , Mobile , Office , Online services , Open source , Search , Server and tools , Steve Ballmer , Strategy , Tech Economy , Windows , Windows 7 , Windows Azure , Windows Mobile , Xbox 360 , Yahoo acquisition , Zune |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

January 5, 2009 3:43 PM

Microsoft promotes Bob Muglia to president of Server and Tools business

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano


MICROSOFT

Muglia.

Microsoft rewarded one of its longest-serving executives, Bob Muglia, with a promotion today. He was named president of the Server and Tools Business, an operating segment that has turned in a streak of 25 consecutive quarters of double-digit growth. It's not immediately clear whether the change is part of an organizational shift that would make Server and Tools its own division.

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Comments | Category: Server and tools |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

December 11, 2008 11:07 AM

Morgan Stanley cuts Microsoft targets; Muglia says IT budgets "cramped"

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Analysts at Morgan Stanley cut their price target on Microsoft shares to $24 and also lowered its estimates. Microsoft shares were down 88 cents, 4.3 percent, to $19.73 in mid-afternoon trading on the Nasdaq.

Meanwhile, Ina Fried at CNET interviews Bob Muglia, senior vice president of the Microsoft Server and Tools Division, who said "IT budgets are cramped. It's not like IT is going to dramatically contract, but it is certainly slowing pretty dramatically."

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Comments | Category: Financial , Server and tools |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

December 8, 2008 3:16 PM

Dell's Humidors packed with 'puro' servers for Microsoft?

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano


Ellen M. Banner / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Stacy Thrasher, great grand-daughter of F. K. Kirsten, poses for a photo inside my favorite local humidor.

Wondering who's going to build all the shipping containers preloaded with server computers to supply Microsoft's ambitious modular data center strategy? Dell, for one, is already scoring some of the business with a double-decker model code-named "Humidor."


Before we go much further, isn't that just a great code name? There are so many awful code names in tech, it's nice to see one that makes sense.

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Comments | Category: Cloud computing , Hardware , Server and tools |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

November 18, 2008 9:01 PM

Customers of Novell-Microsoft partnership pass 200 in second year

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Microsoft and open-source purveyor Novell are marking the second full year of their interoperability partnership, which surprised some in the software industry when it was announced Nov. 2, 2006. "This is almost like the lion and the lamb laying down together," analyst Laura DiDio told me at the time.

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Comments | Category: Enterprise , Server and tools , Strategy |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

November 18, 2008 2:25 PM

Microsoft software runs 10th fastest supercomputer, Seattle's Cray has four in top 10

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Two years after fielding its first software designed specifically for supercomputers, Microsoft has cracked the top 10 list of the world's fastest machines. Its Windows HPC Server 2008 powers the Shanghai Supercomputer Center's "Dawning 5000A", which was clocked at 180.6 teraflops -- trillions of floating point operations per second -- for the twice-annual TOP500 list of supercomputers.

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Comments | Category: Cray , High-performance computing , Server and tools |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

November 5, 2008 6:52 PM

Coming up: Talk at WinHEC turns to Windows Server

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Day 2 of Microsoft's Windows Hardware Engineering Conference starts at 9:30 a.m. with a speech from Bill Laing, corporate vice president of the Windows Server Division. Access to the Webcast is here.

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Comments | Category: Hardware , Server and tools |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

October 27, 2008 10:50 PM

PDC: Microsoft's Muglia on profit margins for Windows Azure, opportunities to work with Amazon

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

LOS ANGELES -- Bob Muglia, senior vice president of Microsoft's server and tools business, shared his expectations of the impact Microsoft's new services platform will have on company profit margins, where he sees opportunities for collaboration with Amazon.com -- the company's biggest cloud competitor not named Google -- and more in an interview earlier today.

Check out these edited excerpts of our conversation. I've put the particularly interesting bits in bold for easier scanning.

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Comments | Category: Cloud computing , Financial , Online services , PDC2008 , Server and tools , Strategy , Windows Azure |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

October 6, 2008 11:36 AM

Microsoft's vision for business intelligence for everyone, even in 'Halo 3'

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Microsoft wants to "democratize" business intelligence software so that everyone who does office work can know when they're missing their quarterly targets, not just the 10 to 25 percent of employees who do now. At its business intelligence conference in Seattle today, executives laid out their strategy to expand usage of this category of software.

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Comments | Category: Data centers , Office , Server and tools , Strategy |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

October 3, 2008 7:32 AM

Next week: Microsoft business intelligence conference a coming out for DATAllegro

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Microsoft will tout its recent buy, DATAllegro, at a business intelligence conference beginning Monday in Seattle.

Microsoft announced the acquisition of the high-end database company in July during its Financial Analyst Meeting. The acquisition was viewed as a broadside on Oracle in the high-end database market. DATAllegro makes a data warehousing appliance, which combines multiple database servers with hardware.

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Comments | Category: Enterprise , Hardware , Office , Server and tools |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

September 16, 2008 8:58 AM

Cray partnering with Microsoft, Intel to launch compact, affordable high-performance computer

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Cray just announced a $25,000 to $80,000 high-performance computer, the CX1, targeted at a broader market of scientists, business analysts, engineers and others whose data-intensive work increasingly demands more computing horse power. The Seattle super-computer maker is loading the CX1 with Windows HPC Server 2008, Microsoft's latest high-performance computing operating system. The CX1 is built on Intel Xeon processors.

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Comments | Category: Cray , High-performance computing , Intel , Server and tools |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.

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

July 24, 2008 1:27 PM

Microsoft buying high-end data warehousing company DATAllegro

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Microsoft said today it intends to buy Aliso Viejo, Calif.,-based DATAllegro, a data warehousing appliance company.

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Comments | Category: Enterprise , FAM 2008 , Server and tools |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

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