Interesting wrapup from a newsletter sent by Windows & .NET Magazine.

”There are signs of recovery in the tech sector. Technology research firm IDC reports that 2003 worldwide PC shipments will jump by more than 8 percent to 136 million units; portable computers will be the star, jumping 14 percent, year over year. In addition, AMD and Intel have boosted their financial projections for fourth quarter 2002. AMD will see growth of 35 percent, up from its previous estimate of 20 percent, and Intel says it will hit $7 billion in revenue this quarter, up 5 percent to 8 percent from previous estimates. Finally, major US retailers such as Best Buy and Circuit City are reporting huge quarterly sales gains in the most recent quarter. Both companies also experienced strong upticks during the crucial long weekend after Thanksgiving, which was a record-setting sales event for the overall retail industry.

“But some companies aren’t doing so great.

PC maker Gateway continues to struggle; the company is eyeing store closings and other cost savings while noting that Thanksgiving weekend sales were lower than expected.

Apple Computer danced around a similar concern by not discussing the long weekend’s sales but claiming that foot traffic in its retail stores hit an all-time high; I’d argue that foot traffic in mall-based stores on the biggest retail weekend in history means little if sales don’t happen as a result. The educational market is expelling Apple at an alarming rate, according to a recent survey that says that the company lost its dominance of the K-12 market years ago and now owns just 21 percent of that market, down from more than 65 percent a decade ago. Almost 80 percent of US school officials say they will buy Windows PCs this year instead of Macintoshes.

– Finally, struggling AOL Time Warner will probably start layoffs in its AOL online services division.”

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