As Americans all belly up to the table this week and try and drown their economic worries in turkey and stuffing, we step away from the trough to give you the news. Blockbuster is getting a late start on the online movie rental business, Cyber Monday is coming of age, and Microsoft is making a big move on Wall St. Here now are our picks of the week.
After sitting on the sideline and watching companies like Roku, Vudu and Apple make inroads into the home movie rental (via set-top box) business, Blockbuster is finally making a move. This week they introduced their own device that will allow Blockbuster customers to rent movies at home and stream them to their television. The MediaPoint Digital Media Player (rolls right off the tongue, right?) with Blockbuster OnDemand will have movies for rent starting at $1.99. If you pay $99 in advance you get 25 rentals and they will throw in the player for free. New movies will be available within 30 days of release and Blockbuster will use a "progressive playback" system when consumers upload these films so there won't be the lag that sometimes happens with a direct stream.
Black Friday is dead; make way for Cyber Monday. The Friday after Thanksgiving has long been the opening day of the holiday shopping season and retailers often open early and have huge sales. In the past few years the Monday after Thanksgiving has become known as "Cyber-Monday," where retailers offer special promotions on their Web sites. Last year, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation, 72.2 percent of retailers offered online specials on Cyber Monday, this year that number is up to 83.7 percent. So people there is no need to camp out outside of Best Buy on Thursday night, enjoy the weekend and log on Monday.
According to Bloomberg, Microsoft is considering offering up its own bonds. They have recently filed all the paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and they can how have a debt issue at any time. Microsoft has a pristine credit rating and their bonds would be in high demand. We can see investors licking their chops right now, this isn't like putting your money into a risky stock market right now, these are bonds from good ol' Microsoft. They aren't going out of business anytime soon. That being said, nobody really knows what they are going to use all of the cash a debt issue would bring for? Our guess, Windows 7 is going to have one hell of an ad campaign.