Microsoft is turning the entire Windows UI on its head with Windows 8, but it sounds like they aren’t done rocking the boat just yet. According to respected Windows journalists Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft is making plans to axe the full retail editions of Windows 8. This could mean the next time you go cruising the boxed software isle at your local Best Buy, the only thing you’ll be able to buy are upgrade editions.
The PC market isn't growing as fast as it once was (though still expanding), economies in the U.S. and Europe aren't fostering lavish lifestyles for the masses, and good paying jobs are hard to come by. Some would argue that any job is hard to come by, period. Despite all this, consumers will still march into Best Buy to get their fix of electronics, and many will walk out with an Asus notebook in tow.
By all accounts, most folks should be chilling out and winding down right about now. We’re smack-dab in the midst of the holidays, it’s Friday, and even if you don't care about Christmas, the imminent vanishing of dozens of overly festive TV commercials should bring a smile to your face. Speaking of commercials, did you see Best Buy’s “Game On Santa”? As it turns out, Santa won in the end – and you lost. Best Buy recently began notifying some customers that their online orders – even ones made as far back as November – won’t be fulfilled. To quote the lady in the commercial, it’s awkward.
Initial Ultrabook prices crossed the $1,000 line Intel tried to draw in the sand, and it's only recently that we've begun to see some lower priced models. But easily the least expensive Ultrabook on the market right now is Toshiba's Portégé Z835-P330, a Best Buy exclusive currently on sale for a penny shy of $700. Compare that to Apple's least expensive 13-inch MacBook Air ($1,299) and you have to like the direction Ultrabooks are going.
As Black Friday approached, several retailers including Best Buy lowered the price of the much-maligned BlackBerry Playbook. After selling an undisclosed number of the device, Best buy has taken to cancelling orders. By some accounts, all outstanding online orders have been cancelled, and the device is no longer listed on the Best Buy site. Did we just see the PlayBook fire-sale?
So the Kindle Fire’s out, and the Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet is due any day now, too. But if you’re in the mood for a cheap, yet awesome tablet this holiday season, it might just be worth it to brave the crowds and – GASP – venture out to Best Buy on Black Friday. A leaked ad shows that the older, but still viable Asus Eee Pad Transformer will be available for just $250 on that crappiest of days. That’s the same price as the Nook Tablet and just $50 more than the Fire.
Best Buy may be the big box electronics retailer of choice in the US, but it hasn’t been quite as successful on the other side of the pond – at least not as Americans know it. In fact, Best Buy Europe is built primarily around “small box” phone-based technology stores and only launched its familiar big box-format UK flagship stores in April 2010. They should’ve stuck to what they knew; today, Best Buy announced that was closing all 11 of the big-box stores it opened in the UK in order to focus on the small picture.
Hewlett Packard over the weekend began sending emails to customers who signed up for updates on the TouchPad tablet to let them know the company is officially out of stock. Whatever remaining units HP had were sent off to retailers, but as far as HP's online inventory, it's been "depleted," HP said. For those of you still interested in snagging one of these fire sale tablets, Best Buy is one of the few places you'll be able to pick one up without an aftermarket price hike, albeit with a one very big caveat.
The former peer-to-peer file stealing sharing service turned legit is changing hands once again. After filing for bankruptcy nearly a decade ago, Napster's assets were picked up by Roxio for $5.3 million in cash and stock in 2002. In 2008, Best Buy spent $121 million acquiring the music subscription service, which by then had more 700,000 subscribers. Best Buy was never able to do much with Napster, and now Rhapsody will take over operations.