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Consumer News: Goldman Sachs Says Microsoft's Share of Computer Market Has Dropped From 97% to 20%


Plus, Best Buy is offering discounted iPhones.

This column highlights the most interesting and useful business and financial commentary on consumer companies from around the Web.

The Seattle Times
Link: Goldman Sachs: Microsoft Has Gone From 97% Share of Computer Market to 20%
"Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) has a new report out on the tech titans' competing platforms and ecosystems in which it starkly quantifies Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) loss of share among computing devices over the last decade."

"According to the report, Microsoft's operating systems have gone from 97% of all computing devices in 2000 -- back when desktop and laptop PCs were dominant -- to 20% expected in 2012 -- when PCs, tablets and smartphones are all part of the computing-device picture."

Link: Best Buy Offering Discounted iPhones
"If you stopped by the Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) Web page today, December 10, you will have noticed a discount on the iPhone 5 (NASDAQ:AAPL) and iPhone 4S. Best Buy is offering $50 off any new iPhone 5 or iPhone 4S with a new two-year contract."

"This price reduction will lower your initial costs for the iPhone 5 to $149.99 on the 16 GB model, $249.99 for the 32 GB model, and $349 for the 64 GB model. The iPhone 4S with 16 GB of memory will cost a consumer $49.99 with a new two-year agreement. These are the lowest prices for the new iPhone 5 yet."

Link: Pepsi's Beyonce Promotion Is the Choice of an Old Generation
"Pepsi (NYSE:PEP) has agreed to spend an estimated $50 million on ads, a Super Bowl halftime show, and unnamed 'collaborative projects' with pop star Beyonce because, as one of its execs put it, 'Consumers are seeking a much greater authenticity in marketing from the brands they love.'"

"Paying off a celebrity is certainly authentic in a blunt, mercenary sort of way. It's also marketing circa 1985. The saddest part isn't that it won't sell a single case of soda pop, but that Pepsi (and its advocates in the extra-dimensional world of branding) will claim success nevertheless."

Bloomberg News
Link: Buying Groupon Hard for Anyone as Growth Slows
"Even at half the price Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) bid two years ago, Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ:GRPN) is no deal for potential buyers."

"After sinking 79% this year, the online-coupon service is now valued at $2.8 billion and last month fetched a record low price-sales ratio, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. As competition intensifies and demand wanes, analysts see revenue growth slowing to 0.6% in 2015, down from 45% in 2012 and the 1,233% average in the past two years, the data show."

Link: Starbucks Tax Woes Give Costa Extra Shot
"The public backlash over Starbucks' (NASDAQ:SBUX) skinny UK corporation tax payments and a new range of festive drinks have helped rival Costa buoy third-quarter revenues at the Whitbread-owned coffee shop chain."

"Costa on Tuesday reported a 6.9% increase in sales from its owned UK stores open at least one year, boosted by changes to its menus, a new Christmas range and the woes of its US rival."
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