Microsoft 0% financing - AMD new CEO - Design ideas from Online newspapers - Walmart good Q - Facebook phone - Web Neutrality bill - Obama's weekly Youtube update

Microsoft Offers 0% Financing On Business Software Purchases
Microsoft announced Thursday that it's offering 0% financing for 36 months to all new customers of its Dynamics enterprise resource management and customer-relationship management software that spend between $20,000 and $1 million on licenses. The offer is good until March 20 for businesses in Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and covers all five of Microsoft's ERP platforms.

AMD Names New CEO

Ruiz will become executive chairman of the chipmaker and chairman of the board. The announcement came as AMD, which has struggled against its larger rival Intel, reported a second-quarter loss of $1.19 billion, or nearly double the loss reported during the same period a year ago. Revenue for the quarter, however, was slightly higher, rising to $1.35 billion from $1.31 billion a year ago. Shortly after reporting its seventh consecutive quarterly loss, Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD) on Thursday said it has replaced chief executive Hector Ruiz with president and chief operating officer Dirk Meyer.

Looking To Online Newspapers For Design Tips
It can be easy to fall into the trap of focusing so much on content management tools that you end up forgetting that they don't mean much of anything without good site design. Smashing Magazine this week published a great piece on newspaper Web sites that serves as a strong reminder of that very point. The article, titled Newspaper Website Design: Trends And Examples, goes into great detail dissecting many of the most popular content-driven sites, both online newspaper sites with companion print editions and online-only sites with heavy content volume (The Huffington Post, among others). The article also examines some of the key design elements, such as navigation, page layout, and placement of advertisements, that can make a site easy to read and navigate, or a chore to slog through.

Wal-Mart Turns In Solid Quarter, Predicts Happy Holidays
"We are very pleased with our results this quarter," Lee Scott, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. president and CEO, said in a conference call. "Despite economic difficulties around the world, we achieved solid sales and earnings growth, and we are optimistic about the upcoming holidays. At a time when our customer is feeling the pressure of a tough economy, Wal-Mart's price leadership is more important than ever." While it's no secret that consumers are looking for stores that can save them money, Wal-Mart Stores' latest results offer plenty of additional evidence. The Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer says sales for the third quarter jumped 7.5% to $97.6 billion, while income from continuing operations gained 6.6% to $3.03 billion. And its comparable-store sales gained 2.7% in the quarter, excluding gasoline sales, while its Sam's Club division gained 4.5%.

New 'Facebook Phone' Aims To Undercut Rivals On Price
In a bid to increase the amount of data its customers consume, Three UK launched its so-called "Facebook Phone" today, which Britain's smallest carrier and its handset partner INQ Mobile are calling the world's first social mobile phone. While the handset--the INQ1-- does give consumers one-click access to Facebook and live updates pushed direct to the front screen of the handset, the real story is the pricing of the phone. The phone is free on an 18-month contract tariff of £15 a month ($22), which includes unlimited free Facebook, Skype, Windows Live Messenger and up to 1 GB of web access, unlimited emails, unlimited texting, and unlimited calls to other Three customers, plus 75 minutes of talk time to other networks. For an additional £5 ($7) more a month, talk time to other networks bumps up to 200 minutes. For pre-paid users the phone costs £79.99 ($119), plus they will need to pay at least £5 ($7) a month on internet access.

Yahoo! debuts voice search for mobiles

Yahoo! has launched a new service that lets mobile users search the web using voice commands. Yahoo!'s 'oneSearch' service is designed to allow users to conduct searches more quickly than entering text. For example, a search query like 'Arsenal' returns a rich set of results highlighting the latest results and schedules, breaking news, team profiles, images, and Web links.

IAB intros code of practice for online vouchers

The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) and its affiliate marketing council (AMC) have established a code of best practice for the use of online Voucher Codes. To come into effect on 1 January 2009, the Code has been created in response to a growing need for stricter guidelines in the area, and following reports that some voucher code sites are not adhering to best practice and are putting brands' affiliate campaigns at risk.

Lawmaker plans bill on Web neutrality

A senior U.S. lawmaker plans to introduce a bill in January that would bar Internet providers like AT&T Inc from blocking Web content, setting up a renewed battle over so-called network neutrality. Sen. Byron Dorgan, a North Dakota Democrat, believes a law is essential to prevent telephone and cable companies from discriminating against Internet content, even though regulators have taken actions to enforce free Web principles, a top Dorgan aide said on Thursday.

Obama to Post Weekly Presidential Address on YouTube

In a presidential first, President-elect Barack Obama has announced plans to syndicate his weekly address to the country on Google's (NASD: GOOG) YouTube video site. "President-elect Obama will continue to record and make available the Democratic radio addresses on video when he is in the White House," according a Friday statement issued by Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden's transition project, Wired reported. "No President-elect or President has ever turned the radio address into a multi-media opportunity before."

European debut for '$100 laptop'

The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) organisation is planning to sell the devices via online store Amazon's European outlets from 17 November. The machines will be sold under the Give One, Get One scheme that the OLPC organisation has already run in the US. Under that scheme, buyers get one machine for themselves and the other is donated to a school child in a developing nation.

Compete: Google Docs & Spreadsheets Keeps Growing, But User Engagment is Flat

while there has been a lot of talk about online office suites, the latest data from Compete indicates that Google Docs & Spreadsheets is still mostly attracting casual users who don't spend a lot of time with the service. Also, one of the most interesting data points in the Compete study is that only about 58% of unique visitors to Docs & Spreadsheets actually used one of the available apps after visiting the site. A large number of users never makes it past the marketing pages. Overall, traffic to Google Docs grew 158% in the past 12 months. In September 2008, Docs & Spreadsheets reached around 4.4 million users. This, according to Compete, represents 2.4% of the U.S. adult online population.


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