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Brad's Business Highlights
They've hinted about it in the past, but it looks like Amazon is getting into the smartphone business. The Wall Street Journal reports the company has been demonstrating versions of the Kindle-branded device in recent weeks. Reports are saying Amazon aims to announce the phone by the end of June and begin shipping by the end of September, ahead of the holiday shopping season.
Federal Way timber giant, Weyerhaeuser, is making changes at the top. The Puget Sound Business Journal reports three top executives are retiring. Senior Vice President Sandy McDade, Corporate Affairs V.P. Sara Kendall and Vice President of Investor Relations, Kathy McAuley, will all step down over the next few months. Four people within the company are being promoted to take over those duties.
Microsoft's new CEO says the world is becoming a "mobile first, cloud first" world when it comes to data. The Puget Sound Business Journal reports Satya Nadella introduced Microsoft's SQL server 2014 database last week in San Francisco. He says companies that take a comprehensive approach to data consuming and generating stand to realize a 60 percent return on their data assets.
Columbia Bank's Business Insight: Reducing Security Risks in a Mobile World. Cybercrime is pervasive, so fixing digital loopholes to reduce the risk of identity theft and fraud is critical. A stolen, unlocked mobile phone provides access to your email, social networks, storage apps, even Facebook. Ultimately, a thief can use all of this information to steal your identity. Be sure to create complex passwords and don't save them digitally-commit them to memory. Simply develop a combination of personal memories, milestones or dates that are easily recalled.
Toyota unveiled a sportier version of its popular Camry at the New York Auto Show. The engineering remains relatively unchanged, though it will have better suspension to improve handling. The mid-sized sedan has long been the best selling passenger car in the U.S., but it's been facing pressure from an onslaught of improved mid-sized sedan competitors, including a new Honda Accord and a new version of the Ford Fusion.
The Seattle area is seeing a hot housing market right now. In February, nearly a third of new homes sold above list price. That may sound like a recipe for a new bubble, but that might not be the case. The Puget Sound Business Journal crunched the numbers and while supply is tight, prices are actually down 2.7 percent for March, compared to a year ago. The president of Windermere says he's seeing a lot of multiple offers on homes, but bidders are pumping the brakes when prices get too high.
Columbia Bank's experts can help with your business and personal finance needs. Simply visit www.columbiabank.com