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Oct 1, 2013

Exclusive: Time for Gates to go, some top Microsoft investors tell board

NEW YORK/SEATTLE (Reuters) – Three of the top 20 investors in Microsoft Corp are lobbying the board to press for Bill Gates to step down as chairman of the software company he co-founded 38 years ago, according to people familiar with matter.

While Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer has been under pressure for years to improve the company’s performance and share price, this appears to be the first time that major shareholders are taking aim at Gates, who remains one of the most respected and influential figures in technology.

Sep 27, 2013

Ballmer goes out punching at last Microsoft employee meeting

SEATTLE (Reuters) – Microsoft Corp Chief Executive Steve Ballmer took his farewell bow before thousands of applauding employees on Thursday with a typically loud and emotional performance at his last companywide meeting, talking up the software giant’s prospects and taking swipes at rivals.

The CEO, whose screeching and dancing at company events is the stuff of YouTube legend, stormed the stage to “Can’t Hold Us” by Seattle rap/producer duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, and kept up his usual high tempo, according to several people present at the employee-only meeting.

Sep 25, 2013

Panic button-equipped Amazon Kindles join gadget battle

SEATTLE, Sept 25 (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc has
begun selling a juiced-up line-up of new Kindle tablets, many
sporting a unique video helpdesk feature it hopes will give it a
leg-up over Apple Inc and Google Inc during
the holiday season.

Kindle Fire HDX tablets feature what Amazon has called the
“Mayday Button,” a panic button that calls up a tech-support
representative right on the screen, who can then tell a user how
to operate the device or do it for them remotely.

Sep 23, 2013

Microsoft revamps Surface tablets to challenge Apple

NEW YORK/SEATTLE (Reuters) – Microsoft Corp unveiled faster, more powerful versions of its Surface tablet computer on Monday in an effort to boost poor sales of its flagship hardware product and mount a stronger challenge to Apple Inc’s iPad.

The Surface is key to Microsoft’s plan to reinvent itself as a devices and services company, but the revamp comes less than a year after it brought out its own computers for the first time and failed to put a dent in the market. It has racked up only $853 million in sales while generating a $900 million charge for unsold inventory.

Sep 9, 2013

Microsoft staff unsettled, optimistic about change

REDMOND, Washington (Reuters) – A mood of cautious optimism tempered with a dash of anxiety has spread on Microsoft Corp’s (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) leafy campus in the Seattle suburbs, as the world’s biggest software maker embarks on one of the most tumultuous periods in its 38-year history.

Since mid-July, three interlocking events – all of them considered highly unlikely six months ago – have unfolded in quick succession, unsettling Microsoft managers and employees and roiling its share price.

Sep 8, 2013

Microsoft rank and file unsettled but optimistic about change

, Sept 8 (Reuters) – A mood of cautious
optimism tempered with a dash of anxiety has spread on Microsoft
Corp’s leafy campus in the Seattle suburbs, as the
world’s biggest software maker embarks on one of the most
tumultuous periods in its 38-year history.

Since mid-July, three interlocking events – all of them
considered highly unlikely six months ago – have unfolded in
quick succession, unsettling Microsoft managers and employees
and roiling its share price.

Sep 4, 2013

Savior or slayer? Either way, Nokia’s Elop a contender for Microsoft chief

SEATTLE/HELSINKI (Reuters) – When a British bookmaker installed Stephen Elop as favorite to take over the soon-to-be-vacant CEO slot at Microsoft Corp last week, most tech observers laughed it off as a publicity stunt.

But Microsoft’s purchase of Nokia’s handset business, announced late on Monday, has suddenly made Elop one of the most visible candidates for the top spot at the company where he once worked.

Sep 4, 2013

Newsmaker: Saviour or slayer? Either way, Nokia’s Elop a contender for Microsoft chief

SEATTLE/HELSINKI (Reuters) – When a British bookmaker installed Stephen Elop as favorite to take over the soon-to-be-vacant CEO slot at Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) last week, most tech observers laughed it off as a publicity stunt.

But Microsoft’s purchase of Nokia’s (NOK1V.HE: Quote, Profile, Research) handset business, announced late on Monday, has suddenly made Elop one of the most visible candidates for the top spot at the company where he once worked.

Sep 4, 2013

Microsoft swallows Nokia’s phone business for $7.2 billion

HELSINKI/SEATTLE (Reuters) – Microsoft Corp will buy Nokia’s phone business and license its patents for 5.44 billion euros ($7.2 billion), a bold foray into mobile devices that also brings potential chief executive contender Stephen Elop back into the fold.

Two years after hitching its fate to Microsoft’s Windows Phone software, the Finnish phone maker that once dominated the global market collapsed into the arms of the U.S. software giant, its mobile business ravaged by nimbler rivals Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics.

Sep 3, 2013

Insight: As Finland reels, Microsoft doubles down with Nokia phone deal

HELSINKI/SEATTLE (Reuters) – In an era when shiny new tech start-ups can be worth tens of billions of dollars, Microsoft’s deal to acquire Nokia’s mobile handset business for 5.44 billion euros ($7.2 billion) is a modest one from a strictly financial point of view.

Yet the deal is likely to go down as a major turning point in the contemporary technology business, one that marks the end of a Finnish company’s unlikely run as world-beating tech icon even as it shapes the future of Microsoft Corp – for better or for worse.

    • 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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