Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) provided a glimpse of the gaming lineup that will be available with its launch of Windows Phone 7, and it's winning over some skeptics.

Microsoft's update may be miserably late to the smartphone market, but the software giant is hoping to make up for lost time by appealing to diehard Xbox gamers who think Mr. Softy's cool -- at least when it comes to engaging video game experiences.

Microsoft isn't the only one hoping that it can lean on some Xbox sizzle to matter elsewhere. Retailer GameStop (NYSE: GME) hosed down its profit expectations for the current quarter, but pointed to Kinect -- Microsoft's $150 motion-based controller that aims to take Xbox 360 gaming to a new level this holiday season -- as a reason for sticking to its earlier full-year guidance.

Ah, if only it could have turned its Kin into an Xbox handheld gadget.

Briefly in the news
And now let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.

  • Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM) will carry a Torch for you, but perhaps not for long. At least two different analysts are pegging sales of the new BlackBerry at 150,000 units during its debut weekend. This would be a solid figure for an upstart, but this is Research In Motion, and the Torch was supposed to be its best shot at drumming up an iPhone killer. Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) can rest easy, even though I'm guessing it never even missed a wink of sleep over this.
  • Are investors simply settling into the new normal? Shares of Lowe's (NYSE: LOW) and Home Depot (NYSE: HD) rose after posting their quarterly reports this week, despite clocking in with sales growth of 4% and 2%, respectively. Comps inched slightly higher, but the average store is still selling far less than it did two years ago. I guess home improvement is a work in progress.
  • YRC Worldwide (Nasdaq: YRCW) is doing everything it can to avoid bankruptcy. This week the trucker was able to sell its global logistics business for some welcome cash.

Until next week, I remain,
Rick Munarriz

Home Depot, Lowe's, and Microsoft are Motley Fool Inside Value selections. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick. Motley Fool Options has recommended writing covered calls on GameStop and a diagonal call position on Microsoft. The Fool owns shares of Lowe's. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz recommends windshield wiper fluid when trying to look back. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.