Microsoft says it is buying Nokia's devices and services business, and getting access to the company's patents, for a total of 5.44 billion euros ($7.2 billion) in an effort to expand its share of the smartphone market.

Steve Ballmer will retire as CEO at Microsoft within the next 12 months, the software giant announced Friday.

According to the company:

"In the meantime, Ballmer will continue as CEO and will lead Microsoft through the next steps of its transformation to a devices and services company that empowers people for the activities they value most."

Ballmer says in the same statement that:

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

Microsoft wants students to be able to search the Internet without getting bombarded by ads.

The software company has launched "Bing for Schools," a pilot program available to educational institutions who want ad-free searches and no adult content. School districts in Atlanta, Los Angeles and Fresno, California have already signed on.

Jason Howie

Microsoft sales and profit rose less than analysts expected in the most recent quarter as the company continues to struggle with slow adoption of its latest operating system.

Microsoft launched Windows 8 last year, but it was a radical makeover and sales have been disappointing. The company also rolled out its own tablet to compete with Apple’s iPad but that hasn’t sold well and Microsoft wrote off almost a billion dollars in the recent quarter related to tablet inventory. 

Wally Santana / Associated Press

Microsoft is reshuffling its business in a move that it says will allow it to innovate faster and focus on devices and services.

The move by the world's largest software maker comes amid a steady decline in PC demand as people turn to tablets and other mobile devices.

mage courtesy of Sheraton Seattle Hotel Facebook page.

Already known as a leader in sustainable architecture, Seattle is teaming up with Microsoft to take green building to the next level with the help of big-data computing.

Oracle PR

 (Update: Corrects to say Ellison hired investigators to comb through trash of groups sympathetic to Microsoft, not Microsoft's own trash.)

A seismic shift in technology is pushing two longtime archrivals to work together. Oracle and Microsoft are announcing a cloud-computing partnership later Monday.

Associated Press

Microsoft is the latest business planning to build a massive data center in Iowa as the state continues to attract some of the biggest technology companies looking for a place to expand their computer processing and storage abilities.

Microsoft is proposing to spend more than $677 million on the West Des Moines data center. The company is receiving $20 million in tax credits to create 29 jobs. The Iowa Economic Development Authority on Friday approved the incentives.

Microsoft Corp. kicked off its Electronic Entertainment Expo presentation Monday by unveiling a new Xbox 360 with a design inspired by its upcoming next-generation Xbox One console.

Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft's vice president of marketing and strategy, says the updated Xbox 360 is "smaller, sleeker and as quiet as ever." Mehdi added it would be available beginning Monday.

Working jointly with the FBI, Microsoft says it has disrupted a botnet responsible for stealing more than $500 million from bank accounts worldwide.

aaron_anderer /

When computer sales declined 14 percent in the first quarter of this year, fingers immediately began pointing at Microsoft.

The release of a new version of Windows is supposed to stimulate PC sales. But Windows 8 has received a lukewarm reception.

Strategic News Service publisher and KPLU technology commentator Mark Anderson doesn’t mince words. He thinks Windows 8 is a bomb.

Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

Microsoft thinks it has the one.

The company revealed the Xbox One, its next-generation entertainment console, during a presentation Tuesday at its headquarters in Redmond, Wash.

Microsoft is working with manufacturers to produce a line of small touch-screen devices powered by Windows, apparently intended to compete with 7-inch tablets like the iPad Mini and Amazon Kindle Fire.

Peter Klein, Microsoft's chief financial officer, told investors and analysts on a conference call Thursday that the new devices will be available in coming months at competitive prices.

Microsoft Corp. is struggling to extend its software into smartphones and tablets as consumers are turning away from PCs, the foundation of its empire. Over the winter, it launched two larger tablets under the Surface brand. And in October, the company took a large stake in Barnes & Noble's digital unit, which sells a line of entertainment-oriented 7-inch tablets under the Nook brand.

Microsoft is offering enhanced security for email, storage and other services.

People who turn on the new feature will be asked not just for a username and password, but also a second piece of information, such as a temporary code sent as a text message to a phone on file. Users can have their devices remember the second code, so they're not asked for it again and again.

If fewer people are interested in buying a new personal computer, then fewer investors want to own stakes in companies whose fortunes are tied to the sales of laptop and desktop machines.

That's the message emerging Thursday as Wall Street reacts to fresh evidence that PCs are turning into a dying breed of technology as consumers and businesses embrace smartphones and tablet computers.

Microsoft is skewering Google again with scathing ads that say as much about the dramatic shift in the technology industry's competitive landscape as they do about the animosity between the two rivals.

The missive that began Tuesday marks the third phase in a 5-month-old marketing campaign that Microsoft Corp. derisively calls "Scroogled." The ads, which have appeared online, on television and in print, depict Google as a duplicitous company more interested in increasing profits and power than protecting people's privacy and providing unbiased search results.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that U.S. government regulators are investigating allegations that some of Microsoft's partners resorted to bribery to help sell software in China, Romania and Italy.

Some sloppy coding on an update to Microsoft's Windows 7 two years ago has cost the computer giant a $731 million fine to the European Commission.

Microsoft said Wednesday it would not contest the fine, imposed for what the commission said was the company's abuse of its market dominance to stifle competitors' Web browsers.

Dell's Official Flickr Page

Microsoft says sales rose about 3 percent in its most recent quarter. But analysts say the company still has to contend with a slowing market for personal computers.


Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer stood in front of shareholders today telling them what a tremendous year it’s been. But they wanted to know, why should we own the stock?

JD Lasica and Microsoft are two of the cash-rich companies that investors speculate may be interested in buying Netflix. But would either of them want to? One analyst says he doubts it.

Activist investor Carl Icahn kicked up the takeover speculation last month when he disclosed that he’s bought 10 percent of Netflix. He says Netflix is too small on its own and needs to be bought by a bigger company – like Amazon, Microsoft or Google.

In less than a month, two instrumental figures at two of the world's biggest tech companies have left their positions. Now industry watchers wonder whether the departures at Microsoft and Apple will mean dramatic changes of direction for the tech giants.

Robert Scoble / Flickr

With 6,000 high-tech jobs on the table, Microsoft said today it has a pay-to-play plan that would increase the number of H-1B visas to the U.S. by 20,000 and raise more than $500 million for education.

Joseandrés Guijarro /

According to recent headlines, PC sales are sluggish.

But, if you include tablets and smartphones along with desktops and laptops, computer sales are exploding!

In this month's edition of The Digital Future, Strategic News Service publisher Mark Anderson tells KPLU's Dave Meyer that computing is evolving into two main areas: production and consumption. And you need to count both sides of the equation when looking at computer sales.

Robert Scoble / Flickr

Overall, job growth remains disappointingly slow – the unemployment rate remains stuck above 8 percent. In computer-related fields, though, jobs are going unfilled.

Unemployment in computer and math jobs is a measly 3.4 percent. Companies like Microsoft and Expedia say one remedy is immigration reform, and they’re hopeful Congress will pass a new act to break the logjam.

Preparing for the “most significant waves of product launches in Microsoft’s history,” the Redmond tech giant has unveiled a new logo.

Perceptive Pixel

Ten years ago, Steven Spielberg's Minority Report gave us a glimpse into the future of computing interfaces. In the film, Tom Cruise's character interacted with a wall-sized display via hand gestures, rather than a mouse and keyboard.

In 2008, Strategic News Service publisher Mark Anderson predicted this sort of technology, which he calls Wall Computing, would soon make the leap into corporate conference rooms.

On this month's edition of The Digital Future, Mark tells KPLU's Dave Meyer that Wall Computing is becoming a reality, heralded in part by Microsoft's recent acquisition of Perceptive Pixel, which makes large, multi-touch computer displays. 

Microsoft made a $6.2 billion accounting adjustment this quarter that threw it into negative territory for the first time as a public company, the AP reports.

Microsoft took the charge mostly based on the acquisition of aQuantive, an online advertising company Microsoft acquired in 2007.

As MSNBC reports, the "charge was an acknowledgement that the company's struggling online services division — which lost about half a billion dollars in the previous quarter — is a significant financial drag on the company." Microsoft, remember, is the owner of the search engine Bing.

Andy Karnopp / Guidant Financial

The summer Olympics kick off in London on July 27th. But while the world’s best swimmers and sprinters get ready, office workers here are not to be outdone. They’re going for the gold in the name of that corporate buzzword – team-building.

The latest video involving Microsoft and dancing is causing not only a lot of cringing but some apologizing as well. It’s also the latest video pitting Microsoft against good judgment when it comes to song and dance.

Below, starting with the latest, are five videos that should give any Microsoft employee (or leader) pause before busting out the moves in public: