Netbooks could be Microsoft's new enemy; Amazon makes good with Kindle

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by BY ERIK SANDOVAL / NWCN

NWCN.com

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 1:34 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 24 at 12:37 PM

Video: Talkin Tech: Netbooks, Windows, and Amazon

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Amazon To Replace Broken Kindles

broke a story this week on Amazon: some customers sued claiming the protective cover was ironically breaking their Kindle-2s.

Those covers weren't included in the sale price - the protective covers were actually $30 more.

The lawsuit claimed the covers starting cracking the kindle case.

Since the lawsuit was filed, Amazon announced on Wednesday that they would be replacing the units.

White Pages' Sleak New Look

Kindle is throwing away the paper book, and so is White Pages. Seattle-based debuted its new sleeker website this week.

It's much easier to see on mobile devices, and even has downloads to iPhones, Androids and Blackberries.

Move over phone book.

Verizon Offers Netbook Incentive

Verizon Wireless is getting into the netbook market, and it's a pretty good .

Buy the HP Mini, like one we demo'd in Bellevue, Washington, recently, and sign up for Verizon's Wireless internet plan, and you'll get the computer for $199.

They'll even throw in a free phone.

Netbooks Threaten Microsoft

By Todd Bishop / TechFlash

Usually any kind of new computer is good news for Microsoft. But when it comes to netbooks, the company is finding that's not necessarily the case.

These mini-notebook computers are meant for simple tasks such as Web browsing. They cost as little as $300 or less. And Microsoft has successfully battled the open-source Linux operating system to make Windows the dominant operating system on netbooks.

But the company can't sell Windows for as much on these netbooks as it can on standard desktop and notebook computers. Microsoft cites the rise of netbooks - along with the overall economic slump -- as a main reason for sluggish Windows sales in recent quarters.

The trend shows no sign of slowing down. The IDC research firm expects netbook sales this year to hit 26.5 million units, or 17 percent of the notebook computer market. That's up from 11.6 million units, or 8 percent of the market, last year.

IDC analyst Richard Shim tells us that consumers are starting to use netbooks as their primary machines.

And Google recently gave even more momentum to the netbook market by announcing plans to release its upcoming operating system, Chrome OS, on these small computers. Google has the backing of major PC makers. And the price of Chrome OS is likely to get the attention of consumers: It's expected to be free.

The netbook effect is one of the key trends that analysts and investors will be watching when Microsoft announces its quarterly and annual financial results next week.

Read more of Todd's story in and the .

Gates On Google

On the subject of Google's operating system - Bill Gates says he's seen it before.

He told that it could be Linux packaged in a different way. He says, "in some ways i'm surprised people are acting like there's something new. I mean, you've got Android running on netbooks; it's got a browser in it. In any case, you should make them be concrete about what they're doing."

Google is keeping a tight lid on that.

Windows Plays Catch-Up With Apple

The same week Apple announced 1.5 billion downloads in a year from its iPhone App Store, in New Orelans, this week, Microsoft announced it will debut a Windows Mobile Marketplace, a one-stop-shop for its smart phones.

Developers can to have their apps sold on the website.

Also at their New Orleans conference, Microsoft annoiunced part of their Outlook 2010 suite will be web-based. You'll be able to transfer and retrieve files to the web...

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