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Consumer News: Microsoft Proves More Trustworthy Than Apple for Privacy


Plus, is Amazon the new Wal-Mart?

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

Link: Consumers Now Trust Microsoft More Than Apple With Their Privacy
"Big-name tech companies including Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), IBM (NYSE:IBM), eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY), Intuit (NASDAQ:INTU), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Mozilla are among the 20 most-trusted organizations among American consumers, according to Ponemon Institute's '2012 Most Trusted Companies for Privacy.' Meanwhile, companies who've made the list in years past -- such as Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO), and Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) -- didn't make the cut this time around."

Link: Amazon's Growth Looks Like Wal-Mart in the 1990s - But Even Better
"Amazon doesn't make a lot of money in the profit sense, which is typically the only sense that matters. But the investors who sent Amazon's stock soaring after-hours last night were likely looking at a different set of numbers.

"For the fourth quarter, which includes the holiday season, Amazon reported $21.27 billion in sales. Sounds like a lot of money, but compared to what? How about 2008, when Amazon sold less than that ($19.17 billion) for the whole year."

Seeking Alpha
Link: Netflix: Don't Let The Rally Fool You
"Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) reported fourth quarter 2012 earnings and full year end results recently, and frankly, as I expected, it was a lackluster performance at best.

"Granted, there was a little excitement back on January 14 when Turner Broadcasting Systems and The Warner Brothers Television Group (WBTVG) announced that they were entering into a licensing agreement with Netflix. This agreement allows Netflix subscribers with access to Turner Broadcasting and Warner Bros. seasons of animated and live action programming."

Link: GameStop Positions Itself to Survive in a Growing Digital Age
"In an industry where sales are increasingly going digital, GameStop (NYSE:GME) is at a crossroads.

"Traditional brick and mortar isn't going away anytime soon – and used game sales are still a viable force. But day one digital purchase options are becoming more and more frequent on consoles and DLC is one of the fastest growing segments in the industry."
Link: Microsoft Launches New Office for Consumers
"Microsoft Corp launched new Office software for home users on Tuesday, featuring constantly updated, online access to documents from all kinds of devices as the world's largest software company attempts to tailor its most profitable product to a mobile generation.

"The new Office suite of applications – including desktop staples Outlook email, Excel, Word and PowerPoint – is aimed at home users rather than businesses, and is designed to extend Microsoft's domination of the workplace to the home office and beat back growing competition from Google Inc's free online apps."
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