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Mar 19, 2015

Starbucks partners drinks maker Tingyi to expand in China

SHANGHAI/SEATTLE (Reuters) – Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) will partner Taiwanese drinks maker Tingyi Holding Corp (0322.HK: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to produce and sell ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages in China, becoming the latest global firm to latch on to a local peer to expand in the tricky market.

Starbucks will have Tingyi manufacture the drinks for China and help extend its distribution on the mainland, the U.S. coffee giant’s fastest-growing overseas market, the pair said in a joint statement on Thursday.

Mar 18, 2015

Starbucks brews backlash with debate on U.S. race relations

LOS ANGELES/SEATTLE (Reuters) – Starbucks Corp Chief Executive Howard Schultz has deftly navigated thorny issues such as gay marriage, gun control and Congressional gridlock, but his move to weigh in on U.S. race relations has brewed up a social media backlash.

The world’s biggest coffee chain kicked off the discussion when it published full-page ads in major U.S. newspapers earlier this week with the words “Shall We Overcome?” at center page and “RaceTogether” and the Starbucks logo near the bottom.

Mar 18, 2015

Microsoft tackles China piracy with free upgrade to Windows 10

SEATTLE/BEIJING (Reuters) – Microsoft Corp is making its biggest push into the heavily pirated Chinese consumer computing market this summer by offering free upgrades to Windows 10 to all Windows users, regardless of whether they are running genuine copies of the software.

The move is an unprecedented attempt by Microsoft to get legitimate versions of its software onto machines of the hundreds of millions of Windows users in China. Recent studies show that three-quarters of all PC software is not properly licensed there.

Mar 17, 2015

Oracle sales flat, lifts dividend; shares rise

SEATTLE (Reuters) – Oracle Corp posted flat third-quarter revenue and slightly lower profit as the U.S. dollar strengthened, but the business software maker on Tuesday raised its quarterly dividend 25 percent to 15 cents a share.

Shares of Oracle, often a barometer for the technology sector, initially fell but quickly rose 3.3 percent in after-hours trading to $43.20.

Mar 13, 2015

Exclusive: Microsoft’s digital assistant to head to Android, Apple devices

SEATTLE (Reuters) – Microsoft is working on an advanced version of its competitor to Apple’s Siri, using research from an artificial intelligence project called “Einstein.”

    Microsoft has been running its “personal assistant” Cortana on its Windows phones for a year, and will put the new version on the desktop with the arrival of Windows 10 this autumn. Later, Cortana will be available as a standalone app, usable on phones and tablets powered by Apple Inc’s (AAPL.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) iOS and Google Inc’s (GOOG.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Android, people familiar with the project said.

Mar 11, 2015

Alibaba ploughs $200 million into Snapchat in latest startup deal: source

By Edwin Chan and Bill Rigby

(Reuters) – Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is investing $200 million in photo-messaging app Snapchat, a source familiar with the deal said, striking its latest Silicon Valley deal as the Chinese ecommerce company builds up mobile services.

The investment values the company at around $15 billion, according to Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the situation as saying. This places the four-year-old company into the top ranks of privately held startups.

Mar 11, 2015

Alibaba ploughs $200 mln into Snapchat in latest startup deal-source

March 11 (Reuters) – Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is
investing $200 million in photo-messaging app Snapchat, a source
familiar with the deal said, striking its latest Silicon Valley
deal as the Chinese ecommerce company builds up mobile services.

The investment values the company at around $15 billion,
according to Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the
situation as saying. This places the four-year-old company into
the top ranks of privately held startups.

Feb 26, 2015

Ex-managers say Microsoft retaliated after complaints of hostess bar expenses

SEATTLE (Reuters) – Two former Microsoft Corp
managers have sued the company, saying they were forced out
after they raised concerns about an employee’s large claims for
expenses in South Korea that may have included sex services.

The lawsuit, filed by George Engstrom and John Stockwell in
state court in Seattle, says an unnamed Microsoft employee ran
up entertainment expenses of more than $22,000 from taking
potential business partners to South Korean “hostess bars”,
which often provide sexual services to customers.

Feb 25, 2015

HP separation costs seen as warning flag by investors

SEATTLE (Reuters) – Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) shocked investors by putting a $2 billion-plus price tag on its planned separation into two companies and provided only scant evidence that its highly touted enterprise segment is on a growth track.

HP shares plummeted almost 10 percent on Wednesday, to below their level in October when the plan for a separation was announced.

Jan 31, 2015

IBM brings back bonuses for top execs even as profits slide

SEATTLE (Reuters) – International Business Machines Corp brought back annual performance bonuses for its chief executive and her top lieutenants for 2014 despite falling profits and a tumbling stock price, a regulatory filing showed on Friday.

The technology company, which has posted lower revenue for 11 quarters in a row as it struggles to transform itself into a cloud-based software and services company, withheld annual bonuses in 2013 at the executives’ own request.

    • About Bill

      "Bill Rigby is Reuters' chief correspondent in Seattle, reporting on Microsoft and Boeing and overseeing coverage of general news in Washington state, Oregon and Alaska. He has been a Reuters journalist since 1998, reporting on banks, insurers, stock markets, defense companies and airlines from Reuters bureaux in London, New York and Seattle."
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