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Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT ) did a lot of headline hogging this past week.
On Monday it unveiled its plans to roll out the Surface tablet in two flavors in the coming months. We still don't know about pricing, but it's safe to say that Microsoft is going to make sure these Windows tablets are priced competitively.
If potential tablet buyers appreciate the larger screens and keyboard covers, Microsoft may have something here.
But Mr. Softy wasn't done there. It then went on to show off Windows Phone 8, the mobile operating system that will replace Windows Phone 7.5 later this year.
Microsoft's entering the tablet hardware business? Microsoft's raising the bar in smartphones? No, you're not dreaming. However, wooing critics the way Microsoft did this past week and wooing consumers the way Microsoft will have to do later this year are two different beasts.
Briefly in the news
And now let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.
- Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD ) posted a narrower quarterly deficit and a 2.5% increase in same-store sales. Unfortunately, the drugstore's bottom-line outlook for the entire fiscal year calls for a wider deficit than what analysts were expecting. Mr. Market knows how to fill that prescription.
- Best Buy (NYSE: BBY ) is increasing its dividend, but what good is a 3.3% yield at a rudderless company? Then again, if the company's still around in 30 years, shareholders can say they made back today's investment in pre-tax dividends.
- Pandora Media (NYSE: P ) took a hit after Spotify, which previously charged users $10 a month for mobile access, rolled out a free ad-based music-discovery service. Cue up "Heartbreak Hotel."
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