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Ex Microsoft staffer arrested for allegedly stealing Win 8 trade secrets

Alex Kibkalo, a former senior architect at Microsoft who most recently served as a director of product management in 5nine Software (according to his LinkedIn profile), has been arrested for allegedly stealing Windows-related trade secrets while working for Microsoft.

Kibkalo was arrested on Wednesday, according to a report in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

According to a complaint filed on March 17 in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington, Kibkalo -- a Russian national and former Microsoft employee based in Lebanon -- passed on trade secrets involving Windows 8 to an unnamed technology blogger in France.

Microsoft's … Read more

Microsoft OneNote arrives as Mac, Windows freebie

A week ago, word leaked that Microsoft was preparing to release free versions of OneNote for Mac and for the Windows desktop. On March 17, Microsoft delivered both versions of its electronic note-taking and organizational application.

Microsoft is broadening OneNote's platform support so as to better compete with rivals, especially Evernote, on the note-taking/organizational front.

OneNote for Mac is available for download from the Mac App Store as of today. It's the first time OneNote has been available for the Mac. Previously, OneNote was available for Windows, Windows 8, Windows Phone, iPad, iPhone, Android tablets, Android phones, … Read more

Mozilla scraps Metro version of Firefox, citing low interest

After more than two years of work, Mozilla has scrapped its effort to build a Metro-specific version of Firefox for Windows 8, saying that users have shown almost no interest.

Microsoft designed what it previously called the Metro interface for touch-screen devices like tablets and introduced it with Windows 8 along with a version of Internet Explorer designed to run on it. Two years ago, after winning a debate with Microsoft over whether it even could be possible to bring a modern third-party browser to Metro, Mozilla embarked on its Firefox for Metro journey.

But it's over for now, … Read more

Microsoft, Nook redo deal; no Microsoft e-reader in the works

On March 10, Microsoft and Nook Media updated their agreement forged two years ago, according to a new 8-K filing by Barnes & Noble.

Under terms of the amendment, Nook Media is allowed to discontinue distributing the Nook Windows app and to cease work on its Windows Phone app. Ouch.

There seemingly is a replacement app coming for the Nook Windows app, however. It's rather confusingly named "Microsoft Consumer Reader."

This is not a dedicated e-reader, I hear from my sources. (Such a device from Microsoft has been rumored in the past.) Instead, I think this is … Read more

Watch Cortana, Microsoft's rival to Siri and Google Now

One of the main new features of Windows Phone 8.1 -- the personal digital assistant code-named "Cortana" -- has made a brief, unofficial video debut.

The UnleashThePhones.com site posted a 2-plus-minute video clip to YouTube showing what seems to be Cortana in action. Though the "speaking voice" of Cortana isn't revealed, a few new tidbits are.… Read more

Windows 8.1 update reportedly hits final stage

The "spring" update to Windows 8.1 is purportedly now in the hands of PC and tablet makers.

Microsoft has signed off on the update and moved it into the RTM (release-to-manufacturing) stage, The Verge said on Tuesday, citing "sources familiar with Microsoft's plans." A similar tidbit was served by Russian leaker Wzor, who tweeted that the Windows 8.1 spring update was signed off by Microsoft on February 26 and is now final.

The update has begun to reach device makers to test and install on their products, The Verge added. Windows 8.1 … Read more

Windows XP won't die without a fight

Microsoft continues to urge people to dump Windows XP as it preps to end support for the operating system next month, but the 13-year-old OS refuses to go away quietly.

XP's cut among desktop operating systems actually rose slightly the past two months, according to the latest Web traffic numbers from market tracker Net Applications. In February, XP's share inched up to 29.5 percent from 29.3 percent in January and 28.9 percent in December.

Of course, those are minor increases, a possible blip in XP's long-term decline. Just two years ago, XP was still … Read more

Microsoft's 'Universal Store' apps detailed in leaked images

A new round of leaked images suggest an easier process ahead for developers who create software for both Windows and Windows Phone.

Served up on Twitter by tech news leaker @AngelWZR, one of the slideshow images, allegedly snagged from Microsoft, details an upcoming initiative dubbed "Windows Store" apps. As described in the slide, developers will be able to create a single app to target both Windows Phone and Windows.

A single Visual Studio "Shared Solution" template can serve both versions of Windows, triggering two Visual Studio projects for each version and two installation packages for submission … Read more

Nadella: Our industry respects innovation, not tradition

He wears jeans with a T-shirt and suit coat. Sometimes he wears a hoodie like Mark Zuckerberg. He is a decade younger than his predecessor Steve Ballmer. He grew up in India, but has spent more than half his life in the US. He likes cricket and poetry. He has worked at Microsoft for 22 years, most recently as head of the company's $20 billion cloud and enterprise group. This is Satya Nadella, Microsoft's new CEO.

As he settles into his new role, the question is what will Nadella do different from his predecessor to make Microsoft a … Read more

Microsoft just made it harder to break up the company

It's too early to talk about the return of the juggernaut of yesteryear after one quarter of strong results, but Microsoft's latest financial quarter suggests that -- new CEO or no -- the company is recovering from recent missteps.

"In summary, we had a very good quarter," CFO Amy Hood said during a conference call Thursday to discuss the company's fiscal second quarter.

That was an understatement. Sales and earnings beat Wall Street handily, and investors snapped up shares in after-hours trading (even after Hood narrowed full-year revenue guidance to between $31.2 billion and $… Read more