What Apple laptop pricing means to Windows OEMs

The much hullabalooed MacBook and MacBook price cuts didn't come yesterday. That's good for Microsoft and its Windows partners, right? Maybe, maybe not. There is still too much uncertainty about how the slowing economy will affect holiday 2008. Early signs aren't good, but there is still the U.S. presidential election between now and Black Friday, which traditionally kicks off the holiday buying season. New leadership could greatly calm fearful consumers and investors.

Not that the stock market offers any confidence. The Dow lost 733 points today, pulling down most major tech stocks, including Microsoft, whose share price closed at $22.66, down 5.98 percent. Stocks fell on government reports that consumer spending declined 1.2 percent in September. Honestly, these financial analysts need to get out of their Excel spreadsheets and into the shopping malls. People are spending money.

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