Google has spent most if its existence being an innovative web company, but the search giant has just jumped into a decidedly old-business environment: retail stores. Yes, the first ever Google store just opened in London to push ChromeBooks through the holiday season. The so-called "pop-up store" has been erected in PC World, a larger electronics retailer.
We didn’t get a lot of news out of the annual Microsoft Global Exchange sales meeting last week, but it appears one sneaky attendee has leaked an interesting sales video. Redmond is prepping their representatives to sell Office 365 over Google Apps, and the “Gmail Man” video is one tool being used to rally the troops. Microsoft isn’t willing to own up to the video, but most pundits believe it is real.
Remember yesterday when we told you of the horrible dystopian future California faced as they considered forcing online retailers to collect state sales tax? Well, they’re going ahead with it, causing an outcry from Internet retail giants including Amazon and Overstock. The change goes into effect Friday.
It’s getting to be a highly predictable pattern. A state starts working on a bill that would force Amazon to pay sales tax up front on its sales in said state. Amazon then starts playing hardball by cancelling business deals and ending associate programs, and that’s what’s happening in California today.
Hot on the heels of the successful LinkedIn IPO, Groupon has filed its S-1 paperwork with the government to have a public offering of its own. The online purveyor of deals is looking to raise $750 million. Can Groupon’s 83 million subscribers get it the faith it needs? Its profits certainly won’t.
It seems that wherever Amazon goes, sales tax issues will follow. After pulling out of planned distribution centers in both South Carolina and Texas, the online retailer may now be leaving a planned facility behind in Tennessee. The company is usually unlikely to issue press statements on such issues, but this time Amazon is coming out swinging.
Being a super hero is sometimes a thankless job. Just ask Spiderman and a handful of others who have both fought for and been chased by the law. As it turns out, even being just a regular hero isn't always all that it's cracked up to be. If you require proof, sit down for a chat with Roger Kline, a 51-year-old former Best Buy employee who was shown the door after he tackled a would-be laptop thief making a mad dash with stolen merchandise.
According to Cnet, one US Senator is preparing to introduce legislation that would radically alter online commerce. The bill would end the ability of Americans to buy goods from online retailers free from state sales tax. Democrat Dick Durbin of Illinois is expected to present the bill shortly after the Easter recess.
When the Kindle first launched, you could only pick one up from Amazon.com itself. In the last year or so, Amazon has smartly expanded into brick and mortar retail chains. Now the Kindle will be available in yet another place, AT&T Wireless stores. As you may or may not be aware, the global 3G radio in the Kindle uses AT&T's network in the US.
Microsoft has announced today that it will be opening its third California retail store in South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, CA. The software giant did not give an exact date for the store's opening, but did say it would be this spring. This move continues a trend of opening stores on the west coast, closer to Microsoft's home base.
There are also a fair number of Microsoft retail stores in other areas, including the Midwest, but none on the east coast. Rumors indicate that Microsoft may be looking to change that with a store in New York sometime this year. The stores are used as locations for consumers to get their hands on the latest Microsoft devices and software. Windows Phone 7 is a big part of the initiative, but pre-configured computers from Microsoft partners are also present.
Despite the similarities in look to the Apple stores, there are only seven currently open Microsoft stores. Apple is over 300 at this point. Do you think Microsoft will ever see anything approaching the retail success for Apple?