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Wednesday, May 3, 2006 - Page updated at 10:32 AM


Information in this article, originally published April 27, 2006, was corrected May 2, 2006. A previous version of this article incorrectly stated how much Microsoft plans to spend in China.

Business Digest

Snohomish winery makes state history

Pacific Northwest

Wine industry

Quilceda Creek of Snohomish scored 100 points for both its 2002 and 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon in the current issue of the prestigious Wine Advocate, the first 100-point score in the state's history, the Washington Wine Commission said.

Only 15 other U.S. wines have received such ratings from the publication of legendary wine critic Robert Parker Jr., and only five 100-point ratings have been awarded to consecutive vintages since the publication began in 1978.

The review in the April 24 issue rated 86 Washington wines 90 points, ("outstanding") or higher, the commission said.


China spending: $3.7 billion in five years

Microsoft outlined plans to spend $3.7 billion over five years in China by purchasing local computer hardware and forming joint ventures and partnerships to boost the software maker's sales in the No. 2 computer market.

The disclosure came in a statement Microsoft released Wednesday with the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission.

The spending, $200 million on ventures and $700 million a year on hardware, is the second phase of a 2002 agreement.

Microsoft has invested more than $1 billion in China to win over officials it believes can fight piracy. Microsoft needs more sales from China, which has the world's third-highest software-piracy rate, to counter slower growth in the U.S. and Western Europe.


Lockheed to revisit rocket-launch deal

Lockheed Martin's warning that it will reassess a rocket-launch venture with Boeing reveals frustration with a long-running antitrust review and fresh demands for company concessions, defense analysts said Wednesday.

Lockheed surprised analysts Tuesday when Chris Kubasik, the company's chief financial officer, said the company's board today would review the business case for the United Launch Alliance.

SSA Marine

Operator to buy Tacoma acreage

SSA Marine, the largest U.S.-based port terminal operator, said it will spend between $10 million and $20 million to buy 52 acres near the Port of Tacoma.

The deal, expected to close in June, injects the Seattle company into discussions over a major port development on the east side of Tacoma's Blair Waterway. Owners of nearby waterfront land include the Puyallup tribe and the Port of Tacoma.

SSA is buying the site of a chemical factory that closed in the 1990s. It doesn't have direct waterfront access, so the company would need to work with the port or the tribe to create a terminal like its Seattle cargo hub, Terminal 18, said SSA Senior Vice President Andy McLauchlan.

Compiled from Bloomberg News, Reuters and Seattle Times staff

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company




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