Microsoft

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.

The CBI

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

Amazon.com 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 / flickr.com

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.

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