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November 1, 2005

Microsoft Gadgets web site gets a face lift

Posted by David Hunter at 10:17 AM ET.

Sean Alexander has the story:

More details tomorrow however you can see things are being wired up. Enjoy the new site design at Soon you’ll be able to start posting your Web Gadgets for and share with the world. Windows Sidebar gadgets will be coming around Windows Vista Beta 2.

Brandon LeBlanc has more and points out that the Gadgets Gallery is now online.

Filed under MSN, OS - Client,, Windows Vista

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October 25, 2005

High level departures at Microsoft

Posted by David Hunter at 9:04 PM ET.

Via Mini-Microsoft comes word that Hadi Partovi and Don Gagne are moving on. Per Brier Dudley at the Seattle Times:

The highly regarded manager of Microsoft’s portal and content group, Hadi Partovi, resigned last week, a month after a large reorganization folded MSN into the larger Windows group.

Additional changes are possible as the merger of MSN and Windows is sorted out.

Partovi, 32, said he’s not leaving because of any turmoil at MSN. He said he’s leaving to start his own company, probably an Internet venture.

“It’s really more ‘I want to do my own thing,’ ” Partovi said.

The resignation was announced at a staff meeting last week. Partovi is remaining at the company for several more weeks to finish projects he’s excited about, including a revamped version of the home page and updates to the portal developed by his group.

Alorie Gilbert at CNET reports on Don Gagne:

Don Gagne, director of development for Microsoft Office, plans to leave the company in December to pursue a car racing hobby. The 11-year Microsoft veteran gave his notice last week, company spokesman Lou Gellos said Tuesday, confirming a report about Gagne’s resignation in a blog.

Gellos said Gagne’s departure, which comes a month after Microsoft announced a major reorganization, is amicable. The company has yet to find a replacement for him but expects a smooth leadership transition, Gellos added.

There’s also more on Partovi by following the link.

While I’m on the subject of Microsoft employee retention, not all of Microsoft’s departing employees are techies as Emma Trincal reports at – Microsoft Alumni Plan New Hedge Fund:

It’s a familiar story on Wall Street. Talented money managers split off from a blue-chip trading shop, hoping to achieve fame and fortune as managers of their own hedge fund.

In the case of Tahoma Capital, the story has a twist. The team, led by Jeffrey Scott, never worked for Goldman Sachs or Julian Robertson. Scott’s crew cut its teeth investing tens of billions of dollars for a different corporate icon: Microsoft.

Scott, Tahoma’s founder, was assistant treasurer at Microsoft for 10 years, leading the software company’s portfolio team for the past five. Besides him, Tahoma’s ranks include one former managing director in the Microsoft portfolio unit and four other senior directors and directors, according to market materials obtained by

Corporate treasury departments are not fertile breeding grounds for hedge fund talent. Usually, they employ conservative strategies to invest a company’s excess capital, with their main goal being preservation of money that may eventually be needed to fund operations.

At Microsoft, whose high-margin software products have thrown off enormous sums of cash for years, the situation is different. Tahoma says that over five years at the company, its team oversaw an average of $56 billion in assets that produced as much as one-fifth of Microsoft’s earnings.

Tahoma’s literature claims that between July 2000 and July 2005, Scott’s team produced an average annual return of 7.07% at Microsoft, making it the third-largest profit generator at the company. A Microsoft representative didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking confirmation of the performance.

More by following the link.

Filed under Employee Retention, Financial, General Business, MSN, Office,

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September 10, 2005

MSN Web 2.0 Announcements at PDC

Posted by David Hunter at 8:41 PM ET.

Dare Obasanjo has the details:

That’s right, during the PDC we’ll be announcing developer programs for four MSN properties; MSN Virtual Earth, MSN Messenger, and MSN Search. Unfortunately, MSN Spaces isn’t on that list but this is mainly due to logistics reasons and not because we won’t be opening it up to as a platform for developers.

He also points to the Chando Thota post on Virtual Earth mentioned here previously and one from Leah Pearlmann on the MSN Messenger Activity API:

After September 12th, no more complaining. MSN Messenger is opening up.

The new Activity API* will enable developers to create these types of Activities. This is great news for developers and users alike:

- Developers who follow the guidelines will see their Activities made available to MSN users on a supported site.

-MSN users will have a wealth of new Games and Activities to chose from.

The release of the API will be announced at the upcoming Microsoft PDC next week in LA. Along with this announcement will be another for a contest…

Filed under Conferences, MSN, MSN Messenger, MSN Search, MSN Spaces, PDC05,, Technologies, Virtual Earth, Web 2.0

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September 9, 2005

More Microsoft Web 2.0 Buzz

Posted by David Hunter at 12:28 PM ET.

Nate Mook at BetaNews reports that besides today’s Virtual Earth API announcement Microsoft will be revealing MSN Search and API’s at next week’s Professional Developer Conference (PDC). And related, Nate also reports that Microsoft will also release the first beta of the “Atlas” tooling for developing AJAX (or Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) web applications.

Filed under AJAX, ASP.NET AJAX, Conferences, MSN, MSN Search, PDC05,, Technologies, Tools, Virtual Earth, Web 2.0

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