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Consumer News: Windows 8 Launch Is Slow Going, but Top Retailer Says 2013 Will Be Better

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Plus, Black Friday's best deals and five retailers to watch.

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

ReadWrite
Link: Windows 8 'Slow Going,' but 2013 Should Be Better, Top Retailer Says
"A senior executive at popular retailer NewEgg described the Windows 8 (NASDAQ:MSFT) launch so far as not the 'explosion' that the company originally planned for, but as slow and steadily improving.

"From a software perspective, however, Windows 8 will probably not take off until about the second quarter of 2013, said Merle McIntosh, the senior vice president of product management of Newegg North America, in an interview."

NBCNews
Link: Wal-Mart Wants to Become Your New Bank
"Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) just rolled back the price of using a prepaid debit card. Starting this week, the new Bluebird card by American Express will be available at 4,000 Wal-Mart stores across the country and online at Bluebird.com.

"Unlike most prepaid cards, which are loaded with fees, Bluebird can be used fee-free. There's no activation fee, no monthly fee, no annual fee and no minimum balance. And there's never an overdraft fee, because you can't spend more than what's loaded on the card. Bluebird can be used wherever American Express is accepted."

TechCrunch
Link: iPad to Dominate Tablet Downloads for Next 5 Years, Owning 56% in 2017: Analyst
"Despite Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) lead in the tablet market taking its first serious dent in Q3, the iPad's dominance of the tablet market will continue for the next five years, according to Strategy Analytics. The launch of the iPad mini and 'continued dominance' of the iPad will ensure Apple's iTunes App Store remains the "premier destination" for tablet downloads through to 2017, the analyst predicts."

Seeking Alpha
Link: 3 Signs for a Black Friday Disaster and 5 Retailers to Watch
"The National Retail Federation expects sales to increase by 4.1% this year over the previous holiday season. This is a mixed bag for retailers who see between 25-40% of their total annual sales in the month following Thanksgiving. Sales increased 5.6% to $563 billion last year, roughly in line with growth in 2010. The 4.1% increase would mean total sales of around $586 million but a pace of growth more than a percent lower than last year."



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