Kara Visits Seattle (No Sign of Carl Icahn at Microsoft Though!)
Over the last two days, BoomTown has been enjoying the perfect Pacific Northwest summer weather, visiting several Seattle-based Internet companies and also Microsoft HQ in nearby Redmond.
Seattle is still essentially Silicon Valley North, except a lot more laid back and with much less of an egregiously opportunistic, what’s-the-next- hot-start-up tone one feels any day of the week in Palo Alto.
I used to come to Washington state a lot about a decade ago, while covering Microsoft’s MSN, RealNetworks (RNWK) and Amazon (AMZN)–which continue to be the major trio of digital bigwigs here–as the Internet beat reporter at The Wall Street Journal.
I plan on coming back a lot more over the next year, focusing more closely on Microsoft’s (MSFT) still uncertain Web efforts and also on a wide range of other companies here.
So far, it seems to be off to a good start.
While here I had a blabby dinner with RealNetworks’ Rob Glaser, where we talked about online games and music and Sen. Barack Obama (Glaser is a big supporter).
I also went to see Delve Networks (or, as I like to call it–Not-Brightcove), social networking facilitator WetPaint and the music social networking service iLike (which I really like).
Also on the agenda was a day-long visit to Microsoft, to get updated on some thankfully non-Yahoo products and services and what the company’s research and Live Labs units are working on.
Of course, there was Yahoo talk too, but–even up here–it’s hard to avoid.
All this and more will be part of postings and videos next week in this column on what the geeks in this coffee-inundated city are up to.