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Microsoft Hires Google Exec To Help Develop Big Data Products

More evidence that Microsoft is thinking outside of the Redmond box under new CEO Satya Nadella: The company hired Preston McAfee (pictured), Google's strategic technologies director and noted data expert, as chief economist. He's charged with helping Microsoft customers make use of the ever-increasing volumes of data generated by their IT systems.

McAfee will help develop new business models and metrics for Microsoft products and services, particularly those that collect data about the behavior and preferences of online users. That's in keeping with Nadella's stated goal of fostering a "data culture" at Microsoft that harnesses data from many sources and generates new insights from it.

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