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Personal income and spending rise; BlackBerry surges after results; Microsoft releases Office for iPad

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Consumer spending in February rose at the fastest rate since November, up 0.3%. The Commerce Department also reported personal income ticked up 0.3% last month. Both reports were broadly in-line with Wall Street estimates and provided further evidence that the economy continues to show slow, steady improvement.

Facebook (FB) founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the company's latest move to bring the Internet to parts of the world that don't currently have access to it. Zuckerburg said Facebook's new Connectivity Lab will be made up of scientists studying new techniques to bring the Internet to remote places using drones, satellites and lasers. For example, an unmanned drone that could stay flying for months or years would transmit an Internet signal from more than 12 miles above the earth's surface. The project is part of Zuckerberg's Internet.org, which aims to bring the Internet to the two-thirds of the world without Internet access.

Shares of BlackBerry (BBRY) surged in pre-market trading this morning after the company reported much better than expected results. Blackberry reported a loss of $0.08 a share, versus the $0.55 loss Wall Street was expecting. Revenue came up short and the company's cash position worsened from the previous quarter. Last year, Blackberry abandoned a plan to sell itself. Since that time, the company has focused on cost-cutting and refocusing the business on software and services instead of handsets.

At a Microsoft (MSFT) presentation yesterday, new CEO Satya Nadella unveiled Microsoft Office for iPad. The decision to release the suite of apps - including Word, Excel and PowerPoint - for use on an Apple (AAPL) platform is a significant shift away from Microsoft's long-standing Windows-first policy. Microsoft also plans to make Office available for tablets running Google's (GOOG) Android operating system. Nadella - who has been CEO less than two months - said Microsoft's applications and services need to be available wherever consumers want to use them.

What do you think about Microsoft finally releasing Office for iPad? Was it a good move by the company, or did it wait too long and allow people to get used to using the iPad without Office? Today’s poll asks: Do you think Office for iPad is a game changer for Microsoft? Cast your vote and leave a comment below.