WH Smith Avoids Us, Expands into Denmark

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The confectionery, books and news retailer, reports sales up 1.8% to £734m. Group pre-tax profits rose by 8% as CEO Kate Swann’s strategy kicks in. She wants to avoid entertainment to focus on higher margin products such as confectionery, books and drinks.

In entertainment, like-for-like sales were down 15%. Gross margin was lower Y-to-Y due to a competitive market, price declines and lower-margin game consoles.

WH Smith is also due to open 5 units at Copenhagen airport in partnership with the outlets’ current operator SSP. But Swann says this move is not a precursor for more international expansion.

Acer Bullish on Low Cost Laptops, Smartphones

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Gianfranco LanciAcer says its PC shipments will total 25m to 30m this year, up from about 20m.

President Gianfranco Lanci also forecasts a 40% annual rise in laptop shipments, and about 5m to 7m units will be those new low-cost Atom-based laptops Acer will launch at Computex in June… Hmmm, those two forecasts (up 5-10m in total units and up 5-7m from low-cost laptops) seem to share a common number.

Acer says revenue during Q2 will be slightly down from Q1…but wait until those low cost laptops hit total revenue per unit figures.
That may be why Acer hopes to launch its first smartphone at end of this year and build that category to 10% of revenue. "The worldwide smart phone market is estimated to grow by more than 30% by 2011," notes Lanci.

Go Acer’s Buys Into Smartphones

Microsoft: Making a Real Mesh of It

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Live Mesh is the new “software-plus-services” platform from Microsoft to enable PCs and other devices to be aware of each other via internet, so individuals (and organizations) can manage & share their files and applications seamlessly on the web (across the world of devices).


Is this the power of cloud services we’ve been waiting for?  Besides a whole list of potential security issues, we want to quote from Joe Wilcox at eWeek. "Live Mesh is Microsoft's attempt to turn OS and proprietary services platforms into hubs that replace the web. It's the most anti-Web 2.0 technology yet released by any company. Microsoft is building a services-based operating system that transcends and extends Windows and also the function of Web browsers. It's bold, brilliant and downright scary."

So what’s not to love about it?

Go Mesh

Metro May Become a Predator

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CEOCEO Eckhard Cordes says Metro is not under pressure to make acquisitions, but “we're paid to be managers not simply to react to things, but perhaps to get things started sometimes.” Cordes confirms consumer electronics as a core business but seems to wants an IPO for Media Markt and Saturn to add more “strategic manoeuvrability.”

An IPO “need not necessarily happen in the next 2-3 years,” Cordes told FT recently, as he suggested such a move could make Media-Saturn a predator in Europe. All eyes turn to rival DSG which could add around €10bn to Media-Saturn's €17bn annual revenues.

Go Metro Tells FT

Longshine Hands It to You: The E-Book

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Longshine 01Thomas Grashoff, VP of Longshine Technologie Europe GmbH, demonstrates the portability of the new 6” E-book.

Users can read books, play MP3, store photos, and view documents in this thin, handheld format. With 1GB NAND flash, 128MB SDRAM, SD Card (up to 8GB), WiFi and USB, the E-Book is fully featured to keep up with mobile life. Batteries conveniently go on stand-by if you are not turning pages.

Go Read, Store & Listen 




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