Excerpts from the blog Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell is selling his waterfront mansion in Medina, but don't read too much...

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Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell is selling his waterfront mansion in Medina, but don’t read too much into the listing.

Liddell told me he’s not leaving town; he’s just moving into a different house.

Maybe he’s tired of mowing all that grass leading down to Lake Washington.

The house has five bedrooms, five baths, four fireplaces and two docks on an acre of no-bank waterfront, all for just $13.85 million.

It looks like the biggest lot on the northern point of Medina, that finger of land you see to the left when you’re heading east across the Highway 520 bridge.

Windermere agent Tere Foster’s listing describes it as a “street to water acre paradise” where “waves roll gently up on the beach, as the sunset dances across pavilions of glass. A magical dreamscape lays claim to 174 feet of waterfront.”

If Liddell gets close to the asking price, the house will return more than his Microsoft stock has since he bought the spread in 2005 for $9.6 million.

Speaking of Microsoft mansions in Medina, the company’s former wireless boss, Pieter Knook, has dropped the price of his place down the beach from Liddell’s.

Knook’s property — with a bigger house on a smaller, steeper lot — is now listed for $7.89 million, down from $8.68 million in June.

Coming to Seattle

In a good-news-bad-news move, Korean video-game giant NCsoft is laying off 12 people at its Austin, Texas, games studio and 58 at another studio in Brighton, England.

But the company is simultaneously opening a new office in Seattle, where it’s basing a new subsidiary called NC West. It will be responsible for NCsoft operations in the U.S. and Europe.

The office will be primarily a business office, managing publishing, from a city that’s more convenient to headquarters in Seoul.

NCsoft is a top developer of massively multiplayer online games such as its hit “Guild Wars” and “City of Heroes” franchises. It’s owned Bellevue-based ArenaNet since 2002.

Executives heading NC West all have connections to the area. Chief Executive Chris Chung spent five years at Microsoft.

Others include ArenaNet founders Jeff Strain and Patrick Wyatt and David Reid, a former Xbox marketing director who joined NCsoft in March.

Still to be determined are the number of employees at NC West and an office location.

Texas is getting a few blows this week. Microsoft disclosed Tuesday that it’s closing Ensemble Studios, the Dallas developer of “Age of Empires” and “Halo Wars” it acquired in 2001. Ensemble employees plan to open a new studio that will get some work from Microsoft, though.

On the move

Longtime Windows exec Will Poole is going to keep pushing computers into the developing world after he leaves Microsoft at the end of this month.

Poole’s becoming co-chairman and board director at NComputing, a PC virtualization company that’s getting traction overseas.

His role includes serving as a sort of global ambassador in developing countries for the Redwood City, Calif.-based company, in which he’s also made an investment.

That’s not too far removed from Poole’s role as vice president of Microsoft’s Unlimited Potential group that’s developing technology for emerging markets. Earlier he led the Windows Client and digital media groups.

“I’d met NComputing through a mutual partner in India and saw some of the great things they were doing and saw that not only is there an incredible applicability of this low-cost, power-efficient, environmentally friendly technology in low-cost and emerging markets, but it could in fact go much further,” Poole said.

Poole said he was looking for international opportunities to apply his 25 years of industry experience, including more than 12 at Microsoft.

This material has been edited

for print publication.

Brier Dudley’s blog appears Thursdays. Reach him

at 206-515-5687 or bdudley@seattletimes.com.