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Microsoft stops probing Hotmail to plug leaks

Microsoft on Friday scrapped a policy which allowed it to peek at Hotmail messages to plug leaks or investigate intellectual property theft. The change came after news broke last week that the US technology titan peered into the account of a French blogger who had gotten hold of inside information about Windows software in 2012. While the tactic seemed unsavory, it was deemed legal because Microsoft terms of service grant permission for the company to access or disclose information about a user to protect its "rights or property."

Microsoft reverses course, vows not to snoop on 'private content' after Hotmail search

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - A week after saying it was justified in snooping through a blogger's Hotmail account to track down a leaker of company software, Microsoft has changed course, saying it will refer such matters to law enforcement starting immediately. The reversal, explained by general counsel Brad Smith in a blog post Friday, follows last week's revelation that it searched through emails and instant messages of a blogger who Microsoft believed had received proprietary code illegally.

Former Microsoft employee charged with stealing, leaking trade secrets to blogger

SEATTLE - FBI agents arrested a former Microsoft employee Wednesday on charges that he stole trade secrets from the company and leaked them to a blogger. Federal prosecutors are accusing Alex A. Kibkalo of stealing trade secrets related to pre-release software updates for Windows 8 and Microsoft's "Activation Server Software Development Kit," and giving that information to a tech blogger in France.

Microsoft says it snooped on Hotmail, SkyDrive and MSN messenger to track leaker

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Microsoft Corp., which has skewered rival Google Inc. for going through customer emails to deliver ads, acknowledged Thursday it had searched emails in a blogger's Hotmail account to track down who was leaking company secrets. John Frank, deputy general counsel for Microsoft, which owns Hotmail, said in a statement Thursday that the software company "took extraordinary actions in this case." In the future, he said, Microsoft would consult an outside attorney who is a former judge to determine if a court order would have allowed such a search.

Ex-Microsoft employee charged with leaking trade secrets to blogger

(Reuters) - A former employee of Microsoft Corp is facing criminal charges after he allegedly passed trade secrets to a blogger in France, U.S. court documents showed. Russian national Alex Kibkalo, a former Microsoft employee in Lebanon and Russia, admitted to Microsoft investigators that he provided confidential company documents and information to the blogger, documents from a Seattle federal court showed.

Microsoft adds activist ValueAct to board; Morfit pushed for focus on cloud, business services

REDMOND, Wash. - Microsoft Corp. has appointed Mason Morfit, the president of activist investment firm ValueAct Capital, to its board of directors. Morfit has pushed for Microsoft to focus on its enterprise software products and cloud computing business rather than its flagship Windows computer operating system, which is being hurt by the declining sale of PCs.

New CEO Nadella's collaborative approach comes in contrast to outgoing CEO Ballmer's bombast

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - It was a fleeting moment once the camera had gone off, but some say it's indicative of the leadership style Satya Nadella brings to his new job as CEO of Microsoft Corp. Nadella's impromptu town hall webcast had interrupted business meetings between Microsoft employees and outside partners at the company's Executive Briefing Center in Redmond, Wash. Hours earlier, he had been named only the third leader in company history. When the brief webcast was over, he didn't want to hog the limelight.

Gates to step down as chairman, take on new role at Microsoft as company names Nadella CEO

REDMOND, Wash. - Microsoft has named Satya Nadella, an executive in charge of the company's small, but growing business of delivering software and services over the Internet its new CEO. Company founder Bill Gates is also leaving the chairman role for a new role as technology adviser.

Microsoft sticks with safe choice as CEO at critical juncture demanding dramatic changes

SAN FRANCISCO - After compiling a list of more than 100 CEO candidates, Microsoft settled on Satya Nadella a home-grown leader who joined the software maker in the early 1990s. That's back when Google's founders were teenagers and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was in elementary school.

Insider to refresh Microsoft for mobile age

Microsoft's mission to find new glory in the mobile Internet age is now in the hands of long-time company insider Satya Nadella. The Indian-born cricket lover on Tuesday became the third chief executive in the aging titan's history. He now faces the challenge of revitalizing Microsoft in a world shifting from desktop computers to smartphones, tablets and software offered as services in the Internet "cloud." The 46-year-old will have as an advisor Microsoft's first chief, company co-founder Bill Gates, who shed his title of chairman for a more hands-on role.
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