Seattle Pulse: Facebook-Skype Deal Means New Opportunities at Microsoft

Seattle SkylineFacebook-Skype Partnership Should Bring New Opportunities: Facebook’s partnership with Skype is expected to bring new opportunities as Microsoft acquires the company. Over the next five years Redmond is expected to add apps and other features to the video-chatting service’s core. During a recent visit to Seattle, Mark Zuckerberg stressed the importance of Facebook’s local office to the Skype integration. TechFlash

Rents Rise as Technology Companies Hire: Although rents are rising nationwide as the economy slowly pulls up, Seattle is one of the best markets for potential growth. One driver: Hiring by tech companies and Boeing. Bloomberg

Local Firm Sues Ford for Patent Infringement: Eagle Harbor Holdings  and its unit MediusTech are Ford for allegedly infringing on patents the automaker uses for its Sync and other vehicle systems. Eagle Harbor claims it began developing technologies for those systems more than 10 years ago, and Ford is using them without authorization in Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles. Seattle Times

Children’s Hospital Concept Lauded as eHealth Solution: Technology design firm Artefact was recognized by the Industrial Designers Society of America for a prototype patient information system. Designed for the Seattle Children’s Hospital, it  would provide patient information through iPads and other mobile devices. GeekWire

Starbucks Trials Tablet-based Business Intelligence for Executives: Starbucks is trying out tablet-based business intelligence software that will allow executives to view real-time, location-aware data from individual stores. Computerworld

Microsoft Wants a $15 Royalty for each Samsung Android Device: Microsoft wants to squeeze $15 in licensing fees for each Samsung Android device. The move is seen as a way for the company to drive up Android prices, thus helping Windows-based phones. They could use the help. Microsoft’s share in the smartphone platform market fell from 7.7 percent to 5.8 percent from February to May this year. GeekWire

Zillow Files IPO: Zillow, the Seattle-based online real-estate information service, is seeking to raise as much as $48.5 million through its initial public offering. The company’s sales more than doubled to $11.3 million in the three months ended March 31, while its net loss narrowed to $826,000 from $2.8 million. Bloomberg

Washington Gets $97.7 Million For Computer Upgrades: Washington State will soon receive $97.7 million in federal economic-recovery funds, more than a third of which will go toward replacing the 30-year-old computer system that manages benefit programs. Seattle Times

Amazon Launches Pet Website: Last week it was local, this week it’s pets. In a move reminiscent of Pets.com, Amazon launched Wag.com, which sells pet food and is yet another niche product to go along with Diapers.com and Soap.com. TechFlash

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