Chief correspondent, Seattle
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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.

Jan 30, 2015

Paul Allen, Seahawks’ quiet rocker, right on time

SEATTLE, Jan 30 (Reuters) – Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen has the knack of being in the right place at the right time.

He was the man who persuaded Seattle school-friend Bill Gates to drop out of Harvard and in 1975 create a company called ‘Micro-Soft.’

Jan 28, 2015

Microsoft stock punished as concerns multiply

SEATTLE (Reuters) – Investors wiped $35 billion off Microsoft Corp’s (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) market value on Tuesday without any clear-cut, single explanation.

The world’s largest software company, whose shares had climbed about 30 percent over the past 12 months to near 15-year highs, instead worried investors with a series of troubling signals in its earnings report and conference call on Monday.

Jan 27, 2015

Microsoft profit falls on sluggish Windows, currency pressure

SEATTLE (Reuters) – Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) on Monday reported a fall in its quarterly profit that was in line with Wall Street forecasts, as sluggish personal computer sales dampened demand for Windows software and the company struggled with the impact of the strong U.S. dollar.

Shares of the world’s largest software company, which have surged to 14 year highs in the past few months, fell 3 percent in after-hours trading, to $45.63.

Jan 27, 2015

Microsoft’s core goes soft, as it focuses on cloud transition

SEATTLE (Reuters) – The main engine of Microsoft Corp’s (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) historic earnings power – selling Windows and Office to big businesses – is showing signs of waning, and investors are concerned that the shift to the cloud is not making up for the shortfall.

Shares of the world’s largest software company fell more than 4 percent after hours on Monday, as it forecast a slight sequential dip in commercial licensing sales this quarter, and only a modest increase in cloud-based revenue over the quarter just ended.

Jan 22, 2015

Microsoft springs hologram surprise, but long way to reality

SEATTLE (Reuters) – Microsoft Corp surprised the tech world on Wednesday with a prototype hologram visor that can bring the Minecraft video game, Skype calls and even the landscape of Mars to three-dimensional life.

The aging tech pioneer, which long ago lost the mantle of the world’s most inventive company, is making a bold play to regain that title in the face of stiff competition from Google Inc and Apple Inc.

Jan 21, 2015

Microsoft to give away Windows 10 as free upgrade

SEATTLE, Jan 21 (Reuters) – Microsoft Corp will
give away its upcoming Windows 10 operating system as a free
upgrade to users of the most recent versions of Windows and
Windows Phone, as the world’s largest software company tries to
hold onto customers in the new mobile era that has largely
bypassed it.

The announcement by Terry Myerson, who runs Microsoft’s
operating systems group, is a marked change for Microsoft, which
has charged for new versions of Windows, one of its main profit

Jan 21, 2015

IBM profit forecast, fourth-quarter revenue below estimates

Jan 20 (Reuters) – International Business Machines Corp
posted a new 2015 profit target and quarterly revenue
that both missed analysts’ estimates, as the one-time world
technology leader continues to grapple with its journey from
low-margin hardware maker to the new world of cloud computing.

Shares of IBM, which is still the world’s largest technology
services company, but no longer regarded as a leader in
innovation, fell 1.8 percent to $154.05 in extended trading.

    • 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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