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Tech News: Shock as Sinofsky Leaves Windows

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Also, what happened to Groupon?

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This column highlights the most useful and interesting business and financial commentary on technology every day.

GigaOM
Link: Whoa! Sinofsky, Windows Chief and Taskmaster, Leaves Microsoft
"This is a shocker. Steven Sinofsky, the prickly but super-efficient executive famous for delivering big products on time for a company not known for meeting production schedules, is leaving Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). Now. His departure comes just a few weeks after the debut of Windows 8, the massive project he led.

"The news was reported by AllThingsD's Ina Fried. Sinofsky's role will be taken over by - get this - two women. Tami Reller who will take on the business side of Windows and Julie Larson-Green will direct Windows software and hardware engineering, according to a Microsoft statement. Larson-Green had worked with Sinofsky for some time."

ReadWrite Social
Link: Groupon Stock Goes on Fire Sale, but What Went So Wrong?
"After losing 90% of its value from its IPO heyday, daily deals guru Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) is looking more and more like one of its own deep discount coupons.

"Founded in 2008, Groupon went public last fall among 2011's flurry of IPOs from hot-to-trot tech companies like LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) and Skype. Now, the company's stock is tumbling after it failed to meet analyst expectations for the third quarter of 2012.

"After already reaching an all-time low last week, Groupon is now trading at a rock-bottom $2.69 -- a plummet from its early November valuation that hovered around $4.00 a share and an absolute nosedive from its $28-per-share opening price one year ago."

Ars Technica
Link: Apple's Tim Cook Beefing Up Employee Perks, Personal Project Time
"Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) 'new' CEO Tim Cook is continuing to leave his mark on Apple by beefing up employee perks. According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Cook has begun expanding corporate benefits offered to employees, such as the ability to take sabbaticals and the freedom to work on personal projects.

"Though Apple still appears to offer fewer perks than other large companies (such as Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)), Cook's more humanitarian approach continues to be one of the major differentiating factors between him and Jobs."

Mashable Business
Link: Bank of America Unveils Competitor to Square
"One of the four largest banking institutions in the US is now trying to compete head-on with a startup.

"Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) will launch a new mobile payments service early next month called Mobile Pay on Demand, which uses a dongle similar to Square's to allow merchants to process credit card payments from an iPhone, iPad or Android device.

"Mobile Pay On Demand will become available on Dec. 3 and is geared towards the 2 million small and medium-sized businesses that have relationships with Bank of America, but can't afford to use one of its payment terminals, according to a statement from Bank of America EVP Trevor Rubel. It has a swipe fee of 2.7%, which is slightly less than the 2.75% that Square charges."

TechCrunch
Link: HTC and Verizon Reveal the Jelly Bean-Powered Droid DNA
"It's anything but a secret at this point (really, the number of leaks is astounding even for HTC), but Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and HTC have just officially unveiled the Droid DNA here at their joint press conference in New York City.

"'It's about bringing Droid back to its original roots,' he said. 'Ultimate power.' Bold words, sure, but [one wonders] how Motorola Mobility (Verizon Wireless's other major Droid hardware partner) feels about that little jab."
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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