The Week: Cyber Monday E-Commerce OK, Thank Goodness


We’ve braced ourselves for hideous e-commerce sales this year, but Cyber Monday offered a small reprieve. Unfortunately, Black Friday wasn’t so good, with overall e-commerce sales up about 1%, and through Dec. 1, holiday e-commerce was down 2% year over year.

Apple (AAPL) did “better than expected.” Amazon (AMZN) did so well its servers slowed visibly, which is giving us occasional second thoughts about the EC2. Microsoft’s (MSFT) Xbox did well, but Nintendo’s Wii probably did better. But the one we’re a little worried about is eBay (EBAY).

What else happened?

  • The FCC has a plan for free nationwide Internet — with all the porn filtered out
  • IBM (IBM) is gunning for Microsoft (MSFT) with a plan to sell corporate customers on Linux-running “thin client” terminals. Neat idea, but IBM isn’t the first company to pitch this idea, and it’s never taken off before.
  • Google (GOOG) is finally starting to act like a real company: For the foreseeable future, engineers will be redirected away from useless pet projects and forced to help generate revenue.
  • Did you catch the Simpsons’ Apple parody last weekend? Hilarious — see clips here.
  • Rupert Murdoch biographer Michael Wolff: MySpace for poor, uneducated cretins.
  • Sony if offering a $150 discount on the PS3 — but only if you have good credit.
  • We now know why Google (GOOG) walked away from its search deal with Yahoo (YHOO). It was under the gun — the Justice Department was only three hours away from filing suit under the Sherman Act.
  • And please, no matter how much your now ex-sweetheart drives you crazy, don’t speak badly of them on the Internet. In some states, it can get you arrested for criminal libel.